Advertisement

Paul Simon Details 'Broken' Friendship with Art Garfunkel in New Documentary: 'We Had an Uneven Partnership'

"That was a real first friendship," Simon says of his former Simon & Garfunkel partner in the MGM+ documentary 'In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon'

Larry Busacca/Getty Images Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performing in New York City in January 1990
Larry Busacca/Getty Images Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performing in New York City in January 1990

Paul Simon is explaining what went wrong with Simon & Garfunkel.

In part one of the new documentary In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon — which premiered on Sunday — the 82-year-old singer details the events that led to the breakup of the hitmaking duo in 1970.

"We were really best friends up until Bridge over Troubled Water,” Simon says about his former bandmate and friend since elementary school Art Garfunkel, 82. “[Afterwards], it didn’t have the harmony of the friendship… that was broken.”

Related: Paul Simon Talks About Hearing Loss in His Left Ear: 'I Can't Hear My Voice' If Instruments Are Too Loud

After wrapping the score for the 1967 film The Graduate, Garfunkel was given the opportunity to appear in the movie Catch-22, and his accepting the role was the catalyst for the rift. “Artie said, ‘Yeah, the way it’s going to be is that I will do movies for six months, then I’ll come back, you’ll have written the songs, and we will do the album,’ and I thought, ‘Yeah? Actually, no. That’s not gonna happen. I am not gonna do that,’” Simon recalls.

According to the singer-songwriter, the duo had an "uneven partnership," even before the creation of their fifth and final studio album. “We had an uneven partnership because I was writing all of the songs and basically running the sessions because I would say, ‘This is how it goes, and this is the guitar part, and you should be playing that on drums, and the bass should be doing this’,” he says, adding, "Artie would be in the control room with [producer] Roy [Halee], and he’d say, ‘Yeah, that's good, let’s do that,’ but it was an uneven balance of power.”

Larry Busacca/Getty Images Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performing in New York City in January 1990
Larry Busacca/Getty Images Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performing in New York City in January 1990

Although Simon always did the writing, he says during the documentary that Garfunkel leaving for “half of Bridge over Troubled Water” to star in a movie was different. “We were always sort of together. It wasn’t like he came back and said, ‘What’s the collection of new songs you wrote over these last six months?’ As I was writing a song, I’d say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ The main thing that we were interested in — we shared.”

James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon in 1957
James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon in 1957

Related: Paul Simon Tried to Stop Frank Sinatra from Covering One of His Songs: 'I Said, He Can't Do That'

While Garfunkel was supposed to be filming for only six weeks, the shoot went on longer, worsening their relationship. “The movie ran over. ‘You have to come back.' ‘No, I can’t because we have to shoot this week in Mexico. Send me down what you did, and I’ll give it a list,’ ‘No, that’s no good. You have to change this and this.’ It was like — everything got disrupted,” Simon explains. “It was a recipe for the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel.”

Simon and Garfunkel Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album cover
Simon and Garfunkel Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album cover

When they performed the song "Bridge over Troubled Water" live, Simon remembers that people “leapt up” to applaud Garfunkel’s singing, to which his immediate thought was, “I wrote that song.”

Whether it was weariness over his relationship with Garfunkel or the “Freudian trauma” of his mother once saying, “You have a good voice, Paul, but Arthur has a fine voice,” Simon was done. "This is my oldest friend, and we experienced anonymity, and then great fame and success, and those things have their own pressure," he says.

Bettmann Archive Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon at the 1971 Grammys
Bettmann Archive Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon at the 1971 Grammys

Related: Paul Simon's Life in Photos

In the documentary, a recording of an old interview with Garfunkel is played, in which he says, “Am I the one who broke up Simon & Garfunkel or is Paul the one who failed to accommodate Garfunkel’s enriching of his own career? It takes two people to make a group. It takes two people to be jerks.”

At the end of the first episode Simon says, “That was a good friendship. That was a real first friendship of somebody that got it. For me, to turn into a person that I hope I never see again — that’s a long way.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Part one of In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon is available to stream on MGM+. Part two premieres on Sunday, March 24.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.