Biographies & Memoirs



Away, I’d Rather Sail Away


Three days into summer, Garfunkel was no longer Art. On June 24, eighteen months after its protracted and expensive shoot began in Mexico, Catch-22 premiered at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater, just north of Times Square. In the opening credits, the name “Arthur Garfunkel” appeared onscreen. He’d first used his birth name on the back cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water, but its appearance here now befit both his role in a prestige film and the new, distinctive role Garfunkel saw for himself, beyond pop music and his partner.

It didn’t take an industry insider to see that Garfunkel’s warm-glow harmonies were a huge factor in making Simon’s songs palatable to radio and the masses. But whether they wanted to or not, everyone around Garfunkel made him feel like the less vital and valuable half of the duo. In early 1968, Simon and Garfunkel were booked into New York’s Carnegie Hall, one of the most prestigious venues they’d yet played. The demand for tickets was so great that the promoter asked Mort Lewis to add a second show. To convince his act to perform twice in one night, Lewis knew the best strategy: Call Simon first and get his consent (after telling him there wouldn’t be enough freebies to give to family members if they only did one show). If he were willing, then Garfunkel would surely go along with the decision—which was precisely what happened. Lewis always started with Simon.

Backstage at shows, fans would approach Garfunkel and ask, “Do you write the words or the music?” With noticeable discomfort, he’d always have to say neither. Garfunkel had taken a few cracks at songwriting during and soon after the Tom and Jerry days, coauthoring “Hey, Schoolgirl” with Simon. Under the culturally assimilated moniker Artie Garr, he’d cut a few singles on his own during that period, including the head-in-the-clouds ballad “Dream Alone” and the peppy whitebread doo-wop “Beat Love,” the latter pushed along by a mild skiffle beat. Both were showcases for his sweet, virtuous voice and his wise-beyond-his-years views on puppy love. (“Maybe I love you and maybe I don’t,” he pondered to his girlfriend in the latter.)

Garfunkel had had a small hand in Simon and Garfunkel compositions—suggesting chord changes in “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” for instance—but the credit, and all the publishing income, always went to Simon alone. To help smooth over any uneasy feelings, Simon began telling interviewers that Garfunkel arranged the material, although everyone knew that was merely an honorary title designed to placate Garfunkel.

Jetting down to Mexico on a plane filled with fellow Catch-22 cast members in 1969, Garfunkel had an immediate taste of a different, more welcoming community. On the flight, Bob Balaban, then twenty-four, was so in awe of Garfunkel he didn’t dare speak with him, only humming “The Sound of Silence” as a way to express his fandom. During the long, grueling hours between takes, Garfunkel and some of his costars—Alan Arkin, Tony Perkins, and Balaban—played tennis on a dilapidated court near the set, and Garfunkel and Perkins would often sing together during downtime. At Simon’s rental home on Blue Jay Way in Los Angeles, visitors included another Catch-22 actor, Charles Grodin, and Jack Nicholson. One day in the summer of 1969, Garfunkel showed Grodin an envelope with Simon’s handwritten lyrics to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” scrawled on the back. “Too simple,” Grodin cracked, although Garfunkel told him it would sound better with music around it. With or without Grodin’s curmudgeonly jab, this alternate community was instantly intoxicating to Garfunkel; in it, he was a certified star whether or not he wrote songs.

Even if Simon was irked by Garfunkel’s participation, Catch-22 was hard to turn down. Starting with The Green Berets in 1968 and extending to Patton, which had opened in April, pro-war films hadn’t vanished, even during Vietnam; part of the country wanted to see America kick some degree of butt. But by the summer of 1970, Hollywood was eager to tap into—and profit from—campus turbulence. Getting Straight, in theaters that May, featured Elliot Gould as a young professor navigating his way through the antiwar movement on a campus; The Strawberry Statement, which opened the week before Catch-22, found a student (played by Bruce Davison) juggling a love life and police tear-gas attacks at another fictional school. A month after Catch-22, Jon Voight would play a troubled student of his own in The Revolutionary. Each film contorted itself to appeal to ticket buyers under the age of twenty-five: “America’s children lay it on the line,” read the ads for Getting Straight, while The Strawberry Statement used Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Ohio” and “Our House” and John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” on its soundtrack.

Like M*A*S*H, which preceded it in the spring, Catch-22 used a different war as a metaphor for the Vietnam conflict. It was also less sensational and felt less exploitive than any of the “hip” screw-the-establishment summer movies. But Nichols’ film received a far rockier reception than M*A*S*H. In Heller’s hands, the tale of Yossarian, an American bombardier flying missions off the coast of Italy during World War II while attempting to prove his insanity to his superiors, steadily balanced sobriety and absurdity. The film version couldn’t find a unifying tone between cartoonish and somber. In Life, critic Richard Schickel noted that Nichols and screenwriter Buck Henry had “mislaid every bit of the humor that made the novel emotionally bearable and aesthetically memorable.” Less stinging but equally dismissive, Newsweek noted that “the cumulative effect is disjointedness instead of the coherence of craziness.” M*A*S*H purloined much of the movie’s thunder, and its karma wasn’t helped when, three months before, a charred copy of Catch-22 was found in the rubble of the West 11th Street brownstone accidentally destroyed by the Weathermen.

Nichols had been smart to cast Garfunkel as Nately; in Garfunkel’s and Nichols’ hands, Nately was a baby-faced nineteen-year-old and a logical extension of the vestal-virgin aspects of Garfunkel’s voice and image. In his minor role, Garfunkel didn’t have many opportunities to show his potential, although a scene in which Nately angrily confronted a cynical old Italian, played by veteran Marcel Dalio, showed promise. (“What are you talking about—America’s not going to be destroyed!” he barked, condemning the old man as a “shameful opportunist.”)

Not everyone agreed about Garfunkel’s future in film. “He has an appealing face but sounds as if he is reading his lines from a blackboard,” noted the New York Daily News, while the nearby Newark Evening News in New Jersey noted dryly that Garfunkel “has a nice face for movies but no apparent acting skills.” In what amounted to a compliment, Variety found Garfunkel’s screen presence “winsomely effeminate.” Still, Nichols was impressed. Even before the première, he recruited Garfunkel for his next project, an adaptation of cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer’s unproduced play True Confessions.

Simon and Lewis had no choice but to go along; at least this time, there were no album sessions scheduled for the fall, when the next film would begin shooting. “Paul felt, ‘Why’s he doing that?’” Lewis recalled. “‘We have this successful thing we’re doing.’” For those who worked with them, it wasn’t hard to grasp Garfunkel’s rationale. Over many years, he’d had to take a backseat to Simon in the music world, and he was still stung by Simon’s early attempt to fly solo during the Tom and Jerry period. With movie roles, Garfunkel could achieve parity in their relationship. If all went well, he stood the chance of becoming an even bigger name—a movie star name. Simon may have been the primary creative force in the duo, the writer of the songs on which they harmonized so tenderly, but Garfunkel would be a man of all media. If it bothered his partner of most of the previous fifteen years, so be it.


No sooner had summer arrived than they began circling back to their early days, before the gold records and divergent interests. On July 8, the two spent a day at one of Columbia’s New York studios, returning to the songs that had first drawn them together. “Barbriallen” (also known as “Barbara Allen”) and “Roving Gambler” had both been covered by the Everly Brothers on Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, their collection of traditional and country songs from 1958. Simon took the lead on the third, the Scottish traditional song “Rose of Aberdeen.”

Their love of the Everlys had manifested itself before, both on the road and in the version of “Bye Bye Love” included on Bridge Over Troubled Water. At their Royal Albert Hall show in London in April, they’d covered not only the Everlys’ “Bye Bye Love” but two other Songs Our Daddy Taught Us melodies, “Lightning Express” and “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine.” The new recordings, put down on tape for reasons that were never disclosed, not even to Columbia Records, had a relaxed, coffeehouse-intimate modesty, Simon even joking mid-song in “Roving Gambler” that he could sing it forever. The songs were like Switzerland—neutral ground where they could set aside their differences and revel in a sturdy melody and the sound of their joined voices.

Nine days later, they were driven out to Forest Hills Tennis Stadium for the first of two headlining shows, playing before a total of twenty-eight thousand people. Home to the tennis championship that came to be known as the U.S. Open, the open-air stadium was a mere mile and a half from Simon’s childhood house in Flushing. They’d played there before, opening for the Mamas and the Papas in 1966 before graduating to headliners in 1968. With the Mamas and the Papas, they were paid only $1,000. In another sign of their achievement, they’d now be compensated $50,000 for each of the two nights. They’d also be receiving an unheard-of 90 percent of that money, with the promoter, Leonard Ruskin, only receiving the remaining 10. Before the show began, Lewis went into the office to collect his check. When Ruskin handed Lewis a check for $90,000, Lewis, for a reason he couldn’t explain later, thought he should be receiving the full $100,000. “Jesus, is that all?” he barked. Ruskin reached over and grabbed Lewis’ collar, screaming at him.

Otherwise, the first night was business, and music, as usual. With Simon wearing a Yankees cap for hometown flavor, they played a set that, more than any other, delved through their musical and shared history. While still avoiding revivals of “Hey, Schoolgirl” or other leftovers from their Tom and Jerry days, they sang a playful version of Dion’s swooning doo-wop classic “A Teenager in Love” and combined “Cecilia” with “Bye Bye Love.” Garfunkel shone on “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her,” Simon’s song about the search for ideal love (although Garfunkel once told a friend it was about drugs). Garfunkel’s voice sounded especially dreamy and willowy, Simon’s guitar ripples imitating the drizzling rain evoked in his lyrics.

On cue, Larry Knechtel emerged from the wings and began playing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Knechtel, who’d been born and raised in the sketchy, roughneck town of Bell, California, glanced around and saw a young, clearly educated crowd, the men sporting neckties. Not very rock and roll, he thought, but then, neither were his two bosses. Knechtel glanced over at Garfunkel, and the lights shining down on Garfunkel’s head made it look as if a halo had encircled his head. After Knechtel left the stage, they closed, appropriately, with “Old Friends.”

Other than Lewis’ tussle with Ruskin, both shows at the stadium went off without incident. The concerts were so uneventful that neither the New York Times, Daily News, nor the New York Post bothered to publish reviews. Just before Simon and Garfunkel walked offstage the first night, Garfunkel’s girlfriend Linda Grossman took out a camera. As the moon came up over the stage—poetically recalling the “moon rose over an open field” line in “America”—she aimed and clicked. Later, she discovered the roll of film hadn’t been wound correctly inside the camera, and she was left with nothing. Undocumented on all fronts, their music and image slipped away with the night.


“Welcome, brothers and sisters,” read the fliers handed to those entering Downing Stadium on Randall’s Island. “This concert belongs to the people.” The same night as Simon and Garfunkel’s first Forest Hills show, the New York Pop concerts were firing up forty miles north, on a lumpyshaped, barely one-square-mile island on the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Tens of thousands began swarming across bridges from the boroughs—the one from Queens over a narrow strait appropriately called Hell Gate—to reach the festival grounds. While Simon and Garfunkel sang at their venue, the lineup at New York Pop promised to rattle Downing Stadium to its aging, concrete rafters. Jimi Hendrix, Mountain, and Ten Years After were on the bill, as were newer bands with younger followings, Grand Funk Railroad and Jethro Tull.

The previous summer, a young, curly-topped promoter and hustler named Michael Lang had called Lewis to gauge Simon and Garfunkel’s interest in playing Woodstock, the festival Lang was co-organizing upstate. Lewis told him the two men were having “real problems” staying together and fulfilling their obligations. The day before the festival was set to begin, they were supposed to be in the studio laboring over “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.” Lewis even hinted they might not last much longer as a duo. As a result, Simon and Garfunkel missed out on the major rock and roll event of 1969.

Since then, the rock festival had become an entrenched part of the concert circuit, with promoters both reputable and otherwise casting about for a sequel to Woodstock. Even though that festival was almost a year old, its cultural—and financial—shadow was now beginning to reveal itself. The three-hour film of the event, released in theaters in March, was on its way to grossing a stunning $13 million. Its soundtrack had had three hundred thousand initial orders—huge numbers for a three-LP set with a high list price—and was the number 1 album in the country by July. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s version of “Woodstock” had been a radio hit in the spring. The Woodstock brand was in place to such a degree that when Long Island University announced a “Woodstock Reunion” show on campus that summer of 1970 featuring Tim Hardin and Melanie, the dean received a cease-and-desist letter from Lang’s Woodstock Ventures ordering them to stop using the name.

Each week seemed to bring an announcement of a new multi-day, multi-performer festival in Hawaii, Illinois, Florida, even Japan. Sometimes the festivals announced their lineups, sometimes not. Even when they didn’t, plenty of optimistic fans mailed away for tickets, assuming the event was legit and the promoters would live up to their promises.

As organizers soon learned as the 1970 concert season began, outdoor festivals that stretched out over days were rarely smooth-running machines. At Florida’s Winter’s End festival in the spring, rainfall was so heavy that a lake formed between the one hundred thousand ticket buyers and the facilities. The medical team on duty had to build a makeshift raft out of plywood and inner tubes in order to reach fans, including many topless girls who wound up with sunburned breasts. Keeping male concertgoers out of that tent itself posed a challenge to the doctors on duty.

Yet by the summer, downpours were the least of anyone’s problems. The mere thought of tens or hundreds of thousands of semi-clad kids descending upon their areas sent local officials and police around the country in search of any means possible to avoid traffic jams, drug taking, and skinny-dipping. New Jersey lawyers began looking into laws to “regulate” rock festivals. Authorities in Middlefield, Connecticut, filed injunctions against a planned festival at the Powder Ridge ski resort. Although no performers were allowed to play, the fifty thousand who showed up nonetheless stayed, camping out and indulging in vast quantities of drugs on a hillside. The same scenario went down at a planned “Bach to Rock” festival in New York’s Catskills. After a chaotic Soldier’s Field show in July featuring the MC5, Leon Russell, and twenty thousand people, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley nixed all planned shows in his parks. A Hawaiian “World Peace Festival” was canceled before it even began after community groups fearing another Woodstock—or, worse, Altamont—shut it down. Organizers at an outdoor show in Aix-en-Provence, France, worked around a similar ban by redubbing the show a “prolonged concert” and avoiding the “festival” tag altogether.

Even when the festivals took place without incident—as they did in Indiana and Iowa—a cranky, unpleasant haze hung over them. After fans heard about the successfully crashed gates at Woodstock, a rallying cry began: Admission to such events should be free! The protest made no sense, since everyone knew the performers needed to be paid to make a living, but the cry went out nonetheless. In Amsterdam, seventy thousand barged into the Holland Pop Festival without forking over a cent, much to the annoyance of the twenty-seven thousand who had. Outside the gates of the Atlanta International Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia, over the July 4th weekend, fans chanted, screamed, and demanded to be let in without tickets. Fearing a catastrophic battle, the promoters reluctantly agreed, and ten thousand streamed in. Even as Duane Allman was leading the Allman Brothers Band through a stunning set, Lester Maddox, the state’s cantankerous governor, introduced a bill in the state legislature to ban future festivals, denouncing the skinny-dippers as “immoral.”

John Brower, the Canadian promoter who’d attempted to launch the Music and Peace Conference with John Lennon, settled for a three-day Strawberry Fields Festival at a raceway in Ontario, Canada. By calling it a motorcycle race with “added entertainment,” Brower and his partners were able to circumvent government interference and a planned shutdown. But even then, only 65,000 of the 150,000 who descended upon the campground to hear Sly and the Family Stone, Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain, Jethro Tull, and others actually paid. The festival ended up losing over $1 million.

At New York Pop—the name “festival” was avoided to ward off any interference—the problems began even before the gates opened. Randall’s Island had once housed an orphanage and an asylum; in 1936, in time for the American Olympics trials, an outdoor stadium was built on the grounds. A month before New York Pop, Brave New World Productions, which was organizing the event, was hit with a list of demands by an ad-hoc coalition of the Young Lords—Spanish Harlem’s answer to the Black Panthers—and a group of New York Yippies dubbing themselves the RYP/Off Collective. The extensive list included bail funds, defense money for Black Panthers trials, and free tickets for Spanish Harlem residents who couldn’t afford them. (The festival wasn’t overly pricey: $8.50 for one night, $15.00 for two, and $31.00 for all three.) If Brave New World didn’t agree, the radicals would essentially ruin the festival—badmouthing it, telling everyone it was free—and the promoters reluctantly agreed to many of the demands.

With its cinderblock seats and dirt field, Downing Stadium wasn’t a particularly scenic locale, and the festival, starting Friday, July 17, only seemed to grow gnarlier by the hour. As thousands set upon the gates, the promoters had no choice but to give in or risk mass injuries. The locks were removed, and tens of thousands bulldozed in without paying. Inside, an announcement on the PA warned concertgoers of bad acid making its way around the field, and a woman claiming to be a member of the renamed Weather Underground alerted the crowd that the group would attack a “symbol of American justice” shortly after the festival ended. Security was being provided by the radical collective, not police, leading to disorganization both in the crowd and backstage. “There were lots of good vibes,” remembered Jimi Hazel, a teenage Bronx rock fan taken to the festival by his older brother, “and then you’d come across something.”

Onstage late that first night, Hendrix was visibly unnerved by the jittery crowd and a malfunctioning sound system. “The equipment was picking up radio frequencies through the amps,” Hazel recalled. “Some Spanish cab driver would come out of the amp.” During “Foxey Lady,” Hendrix turned to drummer Mitch Mitchell and exhaled a tired “whew.” After trudging his way through a set, Hendrix told the crowd, “Fuck you, and good night,” and left the stage.

When word began to spread that the promoters might not be able to pay them, many acts scheduled to play the second night—Delaney and Bonnie, Indian music composer and sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and Richie Havens—either stayed in Manhattan or visited the site and left without getting anywhere near the stage. The heat and humidity soared on the second day, adding to the strain. Adhering to their increasingly erratic behavior, Sly and the Family Stone, the planned headliner for the third night, was a no-show. When New York Pop finally tumbled to a close, organizers dubbed it a financial debacle.

The next month, the third annual Isle of Wight festival off the British Isles experienced much the same turbulence. Charlie Daniels, who’d flown to Europe after the George Harrison and Bob Dylan session to play bass with Leonard Cohen, found himself onstage with Cohen, looking at fires in the distance. Security was so lax that several stoned fans wandered in front of Cohen. The throng kicked up so much dirt that everything felt covered in rust. “That was the old hippie attitude,” Daniels recalled. “Everything ought to be free. Everybody will be workin’ for free. Love ought to be free. This and that oughta be free. And the world just can’t work that way.” After playing “Woodstock,” a rattled Joni Mitchell scolded the boisterous, not especially mellow throngs: “Will you listen a minute? ... You’re acting like tourists, man. Give us some respect!”

At summer’s end, the head of Capitol Records suggested a fact-finding study to “save rock festivals.” But it was too late. “The general consensus,” Billboard reported after the last bonfire at the Isle of Wight cooled down, “is that it was everybody’s last festival.”


To the outside world—or at least to Peter Yarrow—the first suggestion of trouble in the Simon and Garfunkel camp came at another festival in midsummer. Despite Hendrix’s meltdown, the Winter Concert for Peace in January had been a financial success. In April, Moratorium co-organizers including David Hawk and Sam Brown announced the Moratorium was shutting down. They cited a drop-off in public interest, Nixon’s “Vietnamization” policy (withdrawing American troops to supposedly prepare the South Vietnamese for self-defense against the North), and radical elements that disrupted the generally peaceful Moratorium events. The committee was also at least $100,000 in debt.

But the November midterm elections remained in sight, and Brown, Hawk, and Yarrow, along with a ragtag group of organizers and philanthropist Stewart Mott, decided to adhere to their earlier plan of raising money for Senate and House candidates opposed to the war. Once again, Yarrow took charge of lining up the talent, this time placing one of his calls to Simon’s apartment on East End Avenue.

Three years Simon’s senior, Yarrow, whose goatee and earnest air lent him the look of a rabbinical student more than a folksinger, had known Simon since their Village days. He’d become a star with Peter, Paul and Mary in the years between Tom and Jerry and “The Sound of Silence.” (Yarrow would later record his own version of “Groundhog,” one of the leftovers from Bridge Over Troubled Water.) Yarrow made his pitch, and Simon was somewhat open to performing at the concert. Then Yarrow dialed Garfunkel, who was far more hesitant. “Those were not uncomplicated discussions,” Yarrow recalled of the half dozen conversations he had with Garfunkel. Simon also called his partner to recruit him. For reasons Yarrow couldn’t quite ascertain, Garfunkel eventually passed. Yarrow then nudged Simon into doing the show alone, and Simon, after more conversations, agreed. At the time, Yarrow didn’t think much of it; perhaps the two men merely had conflicting schedules.

By August 6, the day of the show as well as the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Yarrow had succeeded in assembling a respectable lineup for the Summer Festival for Peace: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Poco, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Winter, Janis Joplin’s former band Big Brother and the Holding Company, and, in his first solo performance since his London days over five years before, Paul Simon. With the help of wealthy donors, the concert committee, Peace Incorporated, had leased the fifty-seven-thousand–seat Shea Stadium for the event; a stage was erected near second base.

Yarrow was feeling less than hopeful about the times. Although he’d been involved in the October Moratorium and the following month’s March on Washington, they felt like postscripts after the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy and the assault on protesters by police at the Chicago Convention. “That was the end of a kind of momentum we could have had,” he recalled. “Nineteen sixty-eight signaled the very unhappy reality that the social movement lost the possibility of being a dominant political force.” Peter, Paul and Mary were themselves coming apart. A decade of nonstop touring, recording, and bickering—sometimes over the lyrics to each other’s songs—had taken its toll. Noel Paul Stookey had become a born-again Christian and, to Yarrow’s discomfort, was talking about his conversion on stage. Each wanted to spend more time with their families, so they’d decided to take a hiatus once their summer concert schedule was over.

Yarrow carried on, singing at whatever rally he could find the time to attend. But he felt the political and musical shifts, especially when it came to the antiwar movement. To the frustration of many opposed to the war, Nixon’s troop withdrawals—implemented at the same time he was revving up the air strikes and the Cambodian assaults—had succeeded in making the most unpopular president in decades appear a champion of peace. On June 24, changes at the Selective Service System brought both good and damaging news. Instead of drawing from the large pool of eighteen- to twenty-six-year-olds, the draft would limit its intake to nineteen-year-olds, those born in 1951. For millions of young men, the pressure was suddenly off, as the horrors of war in Southeast Asia were no longer a possibility.

As he took the stage at the Summer Festival for Peace, Yarrow and the co-organizers witnessed the change in mood for themselves. The stadium was less than half full. Even with Janis Joplin announcing on television that she would reunite onstage with Big Brother, ticket sales had been sluggish. By the time the show began in late morning, only fifteen thousand of the twenty-five thousand tickets had been sold.

Even more revealing, those who’d shown up weren’t the politically charged concertgoers of the January concert, the ones with memories of the Moratorium still fresh in their brains. “The summer event was more like a music festival,” recalled Hawk. “It was for people who missed out on Woodstock: ‘Here’s another one, at a stadium near you.’” The fans in the bleachers smoked, drank, and sailed Frisbees through the humid August air. At one point, some started leaping from the bleachers onto the Astroturf. Knowing that any destruction of the grounds would result in fines, Yarrow walked onstage and admonished the kids, saying they could feel free to jump on it, but if they did, it would be akin to jumping on a dead soldier’s chest. To calm them down, he sang “Puff the Magic Dragon,” which, despite its reputation as a drug song, didn’t fully do the trick.

Then came the inevitable gatecrashers, the true soundtrack of the summer. Yarrow had just led the crowd in a sing-along of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.” (“Say it so Nixon can hear you!” he implored them.) Outside the Shea gates, a small but unruly cluster gathered, demanding to be let in for nothing. Yarrow went outside and, standing atop a fire hydrant so he could be seen and heard, pleaded with everyone to calm down. At one point, he broke down in tears. Eventually, the crowd dispersed.


By the time Simon walked out onto the Shea stage with his acoustic guitar, the crowd was no longer his. A year before, when he and Garfunkel had played Forest Hills for the second time, it had been; the response was rapturous. Two years before that, at Monterey Pop in 1967, it had been theirs too. Along with John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas and others, Simon had helped curate the first major—and incident-free—outdoor festival of the decade. Simon’s haircut was far shorter than any of those onstage—the lineup included Hendrix, the Who, and David Crosby of the Byrds sitting in for the first time with Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield—yet he and Garfunkel were nonetheless welcomed, the crowd clapping in time with “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”

By the time of the Summer Festival for Peace, the inevitable backlash had set in. It wasn’t their fault that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” had become a beloved middle-of-the-road staple, covered that year by a raft of acts from Ray Conniff to Elvis Presley. But it was still ironic that the duo who’d worked so hard to beef up their antiestablishment credentials with the Songs of America TV special were now seen as representing all that was unthreatening, apolitical, and eye-rollingly old-fashioned. Unlike the rock acts who dominated FM radio, Simon and Garfunkel had seemingly appeared on whatever TV variety show invited them, including one hosted by banal balladeer Andy Williams. The days when The Graduate spoke for an entire troubled middle- and upper-middle class were suddenly over. “I consider his soft sound a copout,” wrote New Yorker music critic Ellen Willis of Simon. “And I hate most of his lyrics; his alienation, like the word itself, is an old-fashioned, sentimental, West-Side-liberal bore.”

At their Royal Albert Hall show in April, critic Miles Kingston defended the group—“There are very few Paul Simons around,” he correctly observed—but added, “Some people hate Simon and Garfunkel because their music has no guts, because it is a middle-class look at life, because it slips too easily from idiom to idiom.” With more than a touch of sexism, he dryly observed the “squads of dumpy girls half-heartedly invading” the stage during the encores. Even their groupies (whom Garfunkel later described as “the left-out kids—the loners, the bookworms, the fat girls”) weren’t sexy.

In a stadium the size of Shea, capturing a crowd’s attention with one voice and one guitar was challenging enough. But as he began singing, Simon heard the jets overhead, on their way to JFK, and saw how far off the audience was, scattered around the bleachers rather than on the field. They wanted to party, not parse articulate rhymes, and barely noticed anyone was onstage. “He was not received all that warmly,” Yarrow recalled. By the time Simon launched into his third song, “Scarborough Fair/Canticle,” with its delicate, folk-club chords, apathy had turned to pockets of booing. Rather than continue, Simon stopped and left the stage. The Summer Festival for Peace continued without him.

That same summer, Simon was invited by Leonard Bernstein to collaborate on music for a Franco Zeffirelli film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, about the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Over the course of two weeks, they met at Bernstein’s home in Connecticut and the conductor’s Manhattan apartment. Little was completed; Bernstein and Simon didn’t click musically, and Bernstein withdrew from the project.

For his Mass the following year, though, Bernstein included a quatrain Simon had contributed, part of which read: “Half the people are stoned/And the other half are waiting for the next election.” The words appeared to sum up Simon’s disillusionment with both rock fans and their culture. Simon never talked much about the Summer Festival for Peace, not even with Lewis. Yet as his manager was beginning to learn, Simon didn’t always tell him everything.

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