Simon and Garfunkel: Still WONDERFUL, After All These Years
One of the best aspects of concerts-is seeing the interactions of the musicians, getting to know more about the people behind the music, and their relationship with each other.
After a number of estrangments, in 2000 CSNY reunited for the first time since 1974. We saw it in Madison Square Garden…seats were not great, but it was still easy to see what was going on…there was enjoyment, and joy in playing together, you could sense they were all on the same page wanting to make it work, and I loved them for that.
A number of years ago, during a local PBS pledge week, I happened upon the broadcast of Simon and Garfunkel’s Free Reunion Concert in Central Park in 1981. This was their first appearance together in a decade, after they went separate ways following the release of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
While the music really transported me, I was really taken by the genuine chemistry between the two on stage. You sensed respect, but a little distance at the very beginning of the concert; but as the concert went on, the chemistry, and again, the joy came right back. The camera caught all the nuances, it really was an intimate portrait.
So OF COURSE I became a member and got the VCR tape and some CDs as a thank-you gift; and have enjoyed it many times since.
Tonight we went to a showing of a brand-new documentary, The Harmony Game, at the lovely Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill. It was briefly how Simon and Garfunkel they got to 1970, then more about all that led up to, and was behind Bridge Over Troubled Water.
I was 12 or 13 when it first came out, so of course I knew the music, but now with hindsight, and an adult’s perspective of the world in 1970, it was engaging, but the segment about their one TV special – “Songs of America” was sobering.
Comprised of vintage footage and very recent-and separate- interviews with both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, along with the musicians and engineers who worked on the album, you learn the stories, the backstories and the mixing techniques. YES, I was singing along throughout the screening, and left the theater feeling all warm and fuzzy…
WINNING a copy of a special commemorative CD/DVD in a raffle-the remastered album, THE MOVIE, and the TV special might have had something to do with it, but really: how neat is it to see people who have been together for so many years-still have fun and make magic??
Watch for it and see it if you can. Meantime, enjoy a very special version of a favorite from that Central Park concert.