[review + giveaway] When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon and Garfunkel by G. Neri and David Litchfield

When it comes to Simon and Garfunkel, three things stand out in my memory: hearing “Homeward Bound” for the first time in a soundproof studio, waiting hours for them to arrive at the airport, and attending their 1968 concert in Honolulu.

I was a big S&G fan back in the day, belonged to a fan club whose sole purpose was to meet every rock group that performed in Hawai’i. We haunted airports and hotel lobbies, camped out overnight to score concert tickets, and sometimes got to meet our idols up close and personal at special events.

The Simon and Garfunkel concert remains in the top 5 of all shows attended in my lifetime. It still stands up against today’s large-venue extravaganzas with the big screens, sophisticated sound systems and light shows. There was just something pure, pristine and utterly transformative about those two voices and acoustic guitar. No need for any high tech razzle dazzle when you have good songs and soul-stirring, transcendent harmony.

When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon and Garfunkel, a fab new picture book biography for middle grade readers by G. Neri and David Litchfield (Candlewick, 2018), opens with the famous Central Park reunion concert in September 1981.

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friday feast: a little koo koo ka choo

“You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen . . .

Artie is a singer, and I’m a writer and player and a singer. We didn’t work together on a creative level and prepare the songs. I did that . . . We had many more points of agreement than we had points of difference, but we did differ, and the bigger we got, the more insistent we got that each one of us should have his way.”    ~ Paul Simon

Happy Poetry Friday! Is it hot enough for you?

I don’t come across cool poems written about singer-songwriters very often, so I was tickled pink to find “A Duet” by Kevin McFadden.

McFadden is totally new to me, though his work has been featured in a number of journals in recent years. His first collection, Hardscrabble, just came out in April with the University of Georgia Press. It was a runner-up for the 2006 Walt Whitman Prize, and is the first publication of the Virginia Quarterly Review Poetry Series. His poems have been cited for their inventive wordplay, quirkiness, wry humor, irony, and “super-charged associative thinking.” All good things, I think.


by Kevin McFadden

Art was long.
Paul was short.
Art sang the song.
Paul was the sort

who made one up
as if from air.
Paul had more gift.
Art had more hair —

which isn’t to take
away from Arts.
Many sing well
if someone starts,

(rest is here.)

To get your weekend off to a good start, how about some vintage S&G? LOVE THIS!

If you need further nourishment, check out my post about “Mother and Child Reunion.”

Lisa is hosting Poetry Friday this week at Under the Covers.

“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 . . .

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, producing. That I love. I love to make beautiful things, but I don’t like to perform.”
~ Art Garfunkel

P.S. Don’t forget about the Teddy Bear and Friends Picnic!