Original Date Published – May 28, 2012 – Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Uncle G’s FUN Classic Rock Tributes
Topic: Simon & Garfunkel
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio (UK)
Many people in my country today, being Memorial Day, are taking time out to remember our fallen military heroes. A tradition that started shortly after America’s bloody Civil War. Today, the holiday not only honors those who fought for our Country in the past but encompasses all those associated with our armed forces to this present day. Keeping it to classic rock and not policies and politics, but still taking a lead from that tradition, a fond look back at Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame members; Simon & Garfunkel.
Last week while reading the news, I see a mention of Paul Simon. In an interview that I’ll paraphrase, he said that Simon & Garfunkel was finished. “No more” would be a quote actually. How Garfunkel was having problems with his voice. Not the only reason that was given. The outcome is no more anything, Simon and Garfunkel…FOREVER!!!
Fans have to be used to this by now. The band’s been officially broken up since the year 1970. What we had since were the reunions. Even while presenting themselves as the real thing, they were merely illusions. Some last a longer amount of time than other time periods. Rumors circulated that it lasted for as long as they could tolerate one another. Almost as famous for their feuding, as they were for the music they created.
The most famous Simon & Garfunkel show I believe would be their concert in Central Park, which occured back on September 19, 1981. Filmed by the cable company, HBO. My personal favorite of anything these two guys ever did was Simon & Garfunkel. Alone, they are skilled talented seasoned musicians, capable of making hit records, Together is where they really shine. And this concert was the best-ever set list for these two. A great supporting band behind them. Simon motivated Garfunkel, or vice-versa to give the best performances of their life. The surroundings were so cool, being staged in New York City. There is a DVD. Seek it out. Should be in every classic rock music DVD collection.
The end results of the re-unions were that they kept the vibe alive. Their occasional comebacks reminded us of glory days gone by, and also got fans caught up to whatever moment that was at the time. They were together. They were not together. The music is so brilliant, it’s played on the radio every hour of every day. Wasn’t like the flame was forever out. Fans were always hopeful for another reunion, usually immediately after the last one. Special occasions or a charity would at times provide a backdrop.
Unlike all that, this latest announcement by Mr. Simon does have a different vibe to it. Like the last few bars of one of his many hit songs. Maybe I’m reading more into it than it really is? For some reason, I’m thinking this more along the lines of calling it a final wrap. Like I’m really believing it this time. Maybe the advanced age of both gentleman make it more feasible? Did Simon & Garfunkel indeed play their last encore together? No more re-unions? Seriously, like that’s it? It now seriously seems like this will never again happen in my life. That makes me sad.
I never personally caught them in concert except for catching the duo on television. I was a fan, but not a huge admirer of the duo. Mostly a casual fan. I knew the hits. Nothing personal. I just always preferred a more hard rocking sound. One thing I admired about them was their talent to do so much with so little. Being just the two of them. Sometimes with the help of a supporting band. The foundation, two guys, and one guitar. Not even a plugged-in one. Paul and Art gave us some of the best straight-up vocal accompanying acoustic guitar music ever committed to vinyl. Motivating one to wiggle their bums, or just sit till concentrating on the quieter moments. Did he just sing something about whores on Seventh Avenue? Once when in New York City, I was approached. She appeared out of nowhere and whispered in my ear that it was forty for the room, and forty for the lady. I passed. My first wife was standing right next to me when I made the offer.
Paul Simon’s a writer and a half. He doesn’t just paint pictures with words, he paints entire motion pictures. In 3D !! Epic stories with detail so vivid you feel like you’re there. I heard him in an interview say he treats songwriting like a regular 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday job. I so dig the results he gets. The man, like his music or not, has made millions of dollars, and to this day, continues to make millions more.
Remember Art? His voice appeared divinely created to launch himself and Paul Simon into superstardom. Not that Paul’s acoustic guitar playing wasn’t good enough to land them there anyway. There are just not enough words to describe Art’s outstanding singing abilities. Together they created a solid collection of greatest hits covered by the likes of Yes (America), and The Bangles (A Hazy Shade of Winter). So sad to think of them as a musical duo gone forever. But I suppose something for us to start getting used to. No one is getting any younger.
My quest Ladies and Gentlemen is to continue to support and praise the musicians who made classic rock great. Hopefully, while they are among the living. Long live Simon & Garfunkel. You’re already well missed.
Added Content (January 2023)
Uncle G: At the live event in New York City, was a half-brother of mine, who passed away recently. A shame but in the last few years of his life, we quit talking. The reason is another half-brother who I would rather not name, and a much older half-sister who I nicknamed; smelly cunt. Long story short, moving in with this guy when freshly separated from wife number 2, was eye-opening indeed. Nine months was all I lasted. Thanks to my friend pot-smoking friend Debbie, I left just in time. Destroyed whatever family ties I had left with my father’s side, in the process. There is a longer story here. One day I’ll provide more detail. For now, it’s back to my now-deceased half-brother, Jerry “Jazz” Brown, and his memories of being at the Simon & Garfunkel concert, live in Central Park (NYC NY USA). He posted this on the Classic Rock Radio (UK) Facebook Page when the original article that I authored, first appeared.
“So Gary, recently i had told you i was indeed there. i remember spending the day in New York, my brother Jimmy was there along with some of my buddies. I remember climbing a tree and having a great view of the stage….if they ever get together or not, we can share so many great music moments……..peace.“
Uncle G: For the record, “Jazz” and myself never did get together in the same room., while in our older years. A pity! I curse those who stood in the way preventing that from ever happening.
Rest In Peace: Jerry “Jazz” Brown (14 Sept 1952 – 02 June 2022)
End of Story
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