The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Simon and Garfunkel accept their induction

Art Garfunkel:  I have nothing prepared, but I have a very full heart, and a total identification with rock and roll, and the history of rock and roll.  It's mic height - that's what split up this group.  So, although I never felt like much of a joiner in any group, I would wear the t-shirt that says Rock and Roll any day, and have been wearing it most of my life, and I'm very happy that there's going to be this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I think it's one of the great pockets of genuineness in the American culture, and it has my total credibility, and there's not too many of those things around.  And I can't tell you how much fun it was to make those records all those years.  I want to share the fullness I feel with, you don't have a career without a manager who helps you, and gets you touring and puts you on the road, and I have great sentiments of sharing this with Mort Lewis.  A great sense of sharing it with the guy who was in the studio when we first did our audition record for CVS, and when it all worked so well, and they signed us, we said, "We love that guy, and we want to work with him on every record we make," and we did, and never did a day's work during those Simon & Garfunkel years without Roy Halley.  I want to thank God for giving me this voice; it's been a lot of fun having it.  And I want to thank most of all the person who has most enriched my life by putting these great songs through me, my friend Paul here.

Paul Simon: Well, Arthur and I agree about almost nothing, but it's true, I have enriched his life quite a bit, now that I think about it. Arty had the best voice in the neighborhood.  It was SRO at his bar mitzvah, actually.  He could have done a whole other show and still made it. We fell in love with rock and roll when we were 12 years old, 13 years old, when there was one station in New York, WINS.  And used to hear this music - I mean, one song would be Ray Charles, "Hallelujah, I love Her So," and then it would be Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line," and then it would be Frankie Lymon and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," and then Carl Perkins, and then maybe Ruth Brown, and the Moonglows, and the Penguins, Joe Turner blues - I mean, a diversity - a rich diversity of music that would be impossible to hear on any format radio today.  And so, in a way, we used our imagination to fill in what was the connection between all of this music.  And we were so taken with this idea, that it became the dominant interest in our lives, and to this day it's still fascinating - the music, writing music, making records.  I'm very grateful that for all of this time in my life, I've never been bored.  It's been a thing that's sustained both of us.  This is really a blessing for us.  We used to take the D-Train from Queens, and we would go and audition for record companies.  The E and the F train.  Well, you don't have to be so smug about it. And then when we were 15 years old, we made this record, and it became a big hit.  Alan Freed played it every night.  It cost $200 a week and the publishing on the next song. We thought it was a great deal, and to this day, I still think it was a very, very good deal.  Thanksgiving Day, 1957, we appeared on American Bandstand, and the kids actually did say "I like it, I like a lot, you can dance to it, I give it a 95."  The other act on the show that day was Jerry Lee Lewis, and he was better than us, that particular day.  That was our only hit in the '50s, and then we had a real argument, and we broke up - thereby setting a pattern that we were to reiterate in the years to come.  We got back together again in 1964 when Goddard Lieverson [?] signed us to Columbia Records, and we owe Goddard our thanks for that, and also for the fact that he interceded on our behalf, and stopped the A&R department from naming our group Catchers in the Rye.  And he allowed us to use our real names, something which would have been an impossibility in the '50s, for somebody to use names that were so ethnically identifiable as Simon & Garfunkel.  We owe Goddard a great deal of thanks for that.  Art mentioned our manager Mort Lewis and Roy Halley, sustaining our careers.  Mort was smart, he was hip - he introduced us to Dave Brubeck, to Paul Desmond, to Lenny Bruce - couldn't have had a better manager.  Roy Halley was a genius in that.  In fact, all our years at Columbia Records were really blissful, under Clive Davis, and even under Walter Yednikov's [?] rule, things were really fine for us.  It was, I don't know, it seems like, "The Sound of Silence," and "Scarborough Fair," and "The Graduate," and "Mrs. Robinson," and "The Boxer," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," wooosh, then it was gone, it was over.  And we just walked away from it, actually, like, "Well, that was one thing that we did, we'll go and do another thing," because we were so young that we didn't realize that that was the trip of a lifetime that we were on.  And aside from the fact that, well, musically, we always had our differences, we had such a good time together, we used to laugh so much.  We loved that we could rent cars, and drive to play in colleges, and take those towels, and stuff them into the cracks of the door, and light up those hidden reefers; and maybe the bed had that machine where you could put a quarter in and, like, be vibrated.  It was great.  I was with my oldest and my best friend; couldn't have had a better time.  And then we had an argument, and then we had an argument, and... Like, once we were riding to this show, and we got into such a screaming argument about the war in Vietnam.  One of us was in favor of it.  Uh, yeah.  We had a big fight about the eleventh song on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album.  Art wanted to do a Bach fugue, and I wanted to do a song I had written called "Cuba, Si, Nixon, No."  We compromised, and there was no eleventh song on the album.  We came back together again in 198, in Central Park, and it was one of the most extraordinary evenings of our lives.  But when we walked off stage, I mean, as we finished the last song of the encore, and we walked off, on the steps of the set, I turned to Arty and I said, "What do you think?  How did we do?" and he said, "Disaster."  Overview was never our strong suit.

Garfunkel: Well, I just didn't think we hit a musically strong standard, that's all.

Simon:  Well, you were absolutely right.  So how could I be happier than to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with my oldest pal, and we can join those other happy couples: Ike and Tina Turner, the Everly Brothers, Mick and Keith, Paul and all of the other Beatles, and maybe they'll have a separate wing for all of us.  Probably be completed in time for the Eagles to be in it.  Thank you very much.