The 20 Best Art Garfunkel Quotes

Known for his blissful harmonies with former bandmate Paul Simon in the duo Simon & Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel has one of the most impactful singing voices of the 20th century. The now-81-year-old New York City-born artist rose to fame with his schoolyard friend Paul Simon in the early ’60s after earning mild success as a duo known as Tom & Jerry with the song “Hey, Schoolgirl.” Later, he left the duo and went to teach math.

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While Garfunkel is known as the quintessential “Robin” of music (to Simon’s “Batman”), he is nevertheless one of the most successful artists of his era, selling millions of records and tickets to adoring fans of all ages. His name is also etched in music history—Garfunkel.

But with all this success and history to that name, one might wonder what Garfunkel’s thoughts are on his career, life, and love. Here are the 20 best Art Garfunkel quotes.

1. “We human beings are tuned such that we crave great melody and great lyrics. And if somebody writes a great song, it’s timeless that we as humans are going to feel something for that and there’s going to be a real appreciation.”

2. “We’d go to the fraternity house. It was a good place to practice. But we really wanted the kids to overhear us. And whoever heard us would go nuts over it.”

3. “Paul has more, I think, of a feel for the stage. Whereas I have it more for the notes themselves. I love record making and mixing, arranging, and producing. That I love. I love to make beautiful things, but I don’t like to perform.”

4. “I’m the kind of person who can hear that stuff. If you sing along to the radio and you’re not going to sing unison with the melody but find the harmony, I find that pretty easy to do.”

5. “Rodgers and Hammerstein didn’t mean anything to me. I just wanted to have a hit, I just wanted to be like those people on the radio. It was all of a case of the present tense with no projecting into the future, particularly.”

6. “When Paul and I were first friends, starting in the sixth grade and seventh grade, we would sing a little together and we would make up radio shows and become disc jockeys on our home wire recorder. And then came rock and roll.”

7. “Records have images. There are wet records and dry records. And big records.”

8. “Paul’s the writer. Yeah, I wrote a little of that stuff, but that’s just technically true. In spirit, and in essence of the truth, it doesn’t matter. So I don’t know, maybe I’m being foolish for not being technical. Yeah, I wrote a certain portion of the things.”

9. “I did have a lucky thing going on there in my throat.”

10. “Records became much cruder in the last 20 years. Let’s put it that way.”

11. “I was a student at Columbia College, actually, in the Architecture school. Paul would drive in from Queens, showing me these new songs. I can’t remember us working it out.”

12. “It was a weird stage of my life, to leave Simon & Garfunkel at the height of our success and become a math teacher. I would talk them through a math problem and ask if anyone had any questions, and they would say, ‘What were the Beatles like?'”

13. “I like working solo and it was a lot of fun joking around with the audience, saying things. I’m only just learning how to do certain things.”

14. “I would start seeing, in just the sense I was saying now, the kind of record it was going to be and what the arrangement demands, and what my vocal part should be in the record. This was all emerging as the song was emerging.”

15. “Paul is a very creative artist but I’m more that thorough, meticulous, disciplined nut.”

16. “So it’s mix and match. Hold your line when you really feel something you’re saying is wonderful and you really want to get this point across and prove it to your partner by just throwing it into the tape and letting it speak for itself.”

17. “It’s a great gift in my throat. When you have a gift, you think about the giver. Who gave this to me? And this takes you to a spiritual sense of God. That has captivated me all through my life, serving that lucky gift.”

18. “It was terrible. 2012, no voice. I would fall to my knees and look up at God and say, ‘Oh, man, this is tough. I don’t know how to be a person.’ And finally, I would sing some shows where the voice crapped out. There were people in the audience. I did my best. I saw that there was lots of love and support.”

19. “I don’t put myself into the category of ‘rock star writing his biography.’ That’s because we live our lives by falling into experiences. Things happen to us. Something you do takes hold of you, and then you do a lot of it.”

20. “I’ve been singing since I was five. It’s my identity.”

Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns

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