Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex

There is no 'Bridge over Troubled Water' for the pair who had an acrimonious break up in 1970

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The Independent Culture

Their tender folk-rock harmonies provided some of the most memorable music of the Swinging Sixties. But the discord which has haunted Simon and Garfunkel ever since their acrimonious break up in 1970 shows no sign of abating.

Art Garfunkel has described his former collaborator Paul Simon as a “monster” with a Napoleon complex, calling him an “idiot” and a “jerk” for abandoning their highly successful musical partnership at the height of their fame.

Now 73 and having recovered from “paresis” of his vocal cords which left him unable to sing, Garfunkel is set to embark on a tour of seven world cities. He will return to the UK in the autumn to play at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The duo have reunited numerous times since their split (Getty)

But in an interview ahead of his comeback, the singer has hit out at Simon’s “very strange” decision to walk away from the partnership shortly after the release of Bridge Over Troubled Water, their most successful album.

“I want to open up about this. I don’t want to say any anti-Paul Simon things, but it seems very perverse to not enjoy the glory and walk away from it instead,” he told the Sunday Telegraph. “Crazy. What I would have done is take a rest from Paul, because he was getting on my nerves. The jokes had run dry. But a rest of a year was all I needed.”

The duo have reunited numerous times since their initial split, most notably in 1981 when they played to around half a million people in New York’s Central Park. Garfunkel said another tour would be “quite do-able…as far as this half is concerned”.

He added that Simon had not given him proper credit for providing the lead vocals on some of their most famous songs, such as “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. “How many songs did I sing upfront and have a real tour de force of vocal? Does he resent that I had that one? I find that ungenerous,” he said.

Asked whether Simon had a Napoleon complex, the psychological condition said to afflict people of short stature, the singer replied: “I would say so, yes.” He added that when they met at school in Queens, he felt sorry for him because he was so small and had offered him friendship. “That compensation gesture has created a monster,” he added.