Garfunkel spoke at length to Nigel Farndale about the dissolution of his and Simon’s musical partnership at the height of their musical fame in 1971, shortly after they released the hugely successful Bridge over Troubled Water album.
“It was very strange,” Garfunkel said of the split. “Nothing I would have done. 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. Crazy.”
Garfunkel went on to ask presumably unanswered questions to Simon: “How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?’ ”
Elsewhere in the interview, Garfunkel describes himself as a “misanthrope” and discusses the years he spent teaching math at a preparatory school in Connecticut after his split with Simon: “I would talk them through a math problem and ask if anyone had any questions and they would say: ‘What were the Beatles like?’ ”
Garfunkel ended the interview by agreeing with the interviewer’s speculation that Simon “might have a Napoleon complex.”
“I think you’re on to something,” Garfunkel said, before adding that he offered Simon his friendship when the pair were in high school because he felt sorry for him because of his height. He adds, “And that compensation gesture has created a monster.”