Selected by Dan
Paul Simon may have provided the
visionary lyrics for some of the E0sEgreatest songs, but without his partner'
perfectly pitched vocals, Simon & Garfunkel would not have become the giants that they
were. Next week, the owner of that voice, Art Garfunkel, makes a rare visit to Japan,
including a series of concerts in Tokyo. As of this writing, tickets were still available.
Although indelibly etched in the public mind as one-half of Simon & Garfunkel,
Garfunkel actually launched his solo career-after obtaining a masters in mathematics-while
singing with Simon as part of the duo Tom and Jerry. He released two singles under the
name Artie Garr, debuting with "Dream Alone" in 1959. His first solo album,
Angel Clare, included the song "All I Know," which became a Top 10 US hit.
Garfunkel also notched number one hits in the UK, including "What a Wonderful
World" (1978), featuring James Taylor and Paul Simon. The presence of Simon on the
song fuelled rumors of a reunion, which in fact came about in the historic Central Park
concert in 1981. While the concert was an unqualified success, subsequent efforts at a
world tour reopened acrimony between the two. By the early 90s, however, they seemed
to have made their peace, and occasionally reunited for concerts.
In the meantime, Garfunkel has been engaged in a variety of other undertakings, including
a moderately successful acting career that landed him parts in Catch 22 and Carnal
Knowledge. Last year, he was also invited to take part in the historic Sounds of Peace
concert in Seoul, in celebration of peace efforts on the Korean peninsula. Appropriately,
he closed the ceremony with a rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." In a
statement, Garfunkel said it was an honor to participate in the event. "After the
last 40 years of war and animosity between these two countries, it's great to be a part of
their coming together. If my singing at an event can help bring two countries together,
then I'm proud to be a part of it."
Art Garfunkel plays
Kanagawa Kenmin Hall on Oct 13 and Bunkamura Orchard Hall on Oct 15-16. See listings for details.