Paul Simon the music THIEF? Damning biography claims the storied rocker was a bully who stole from aspiring musicians and 'believed Nelson Mandela was a communist'
- Paul Simon's jealousy of Art Garfunkel dated back to the fourth grade
- The duo had a tumultuous on-and-off again relationship spanning decades
- Simon, who tried striking it out on his own early on in their careers, resented having to rely on Garfunkel, who was blessed good looks
- The 75-year-old was also plagued with insecurities over his short stature
- Peter Ames Carlin's new book Homeward Bound, The Life of Paul Simon, also accuses Simon of repeatedly failing to give other musicians credit
Bullied at school for his beetle brows, chubby cheeks, thickening nose and short stature, singer-songwriter Paul Simon's jealousy of Art Garfunkel began in fourth grade and never abated.
The 12-time Grammy winner for solo and collaborative work, now 75, has suffered a lifetime because of his tiny build and daunting ambitions.
Morphing from their initial singing partnership as Tom and Jerry in the late 1950s to the 1960s chart-topping pop duo they became, Simon's personal demons soared standing next to his tall, blue-eyed best friend, Art Garfunkel.
Their ongoing rivalry and tumultuous relationship is laid bare in Peter Ames Carlin's new book Homeward Bound, The Life of Paul Simon, which also accuses Simon of repeatedly failing to give other musicians credit for their work.
Peter Ames Carlin's new book Homeward Bound, The Life of Paul Simon paints an unflattering portrait of the 75-year-old musician (pictured left in 1986, right in 2012)
Simon sought out the company of Garfunkel after he saw him singing Nat King Cole's hit, They Try to Tell Us We're Too Young and realized he wanted to perform too
In their senior year of high school, they wrote Hey, Schoolgirl, booked time at a recording studio in New York, sang on American Bandstand and had a hit as the duo Tom and Jerry
In the book, Carlin claims Simon once turned down the chance to appear on an anti-Aparthied track in South Africa.
'He’s obviously a Communist,' Simon is believed to have said when asked about Nelson Mandela.
On stage, no one was going to laugh at Garfunkel, who was blessed with seraphic curls and finely etched cheekbones, along with a pure, tenor voice.
Simon knew his voice was better together with Garfunkel's than it was singing alone. But he was angered that he felt dependent on Garfunkel when he was the one who played guitar and wrote all the songs.
'Art had become so many things to Paul: his best friend, his partner, his musical inspiration, and increasingly his rival,' writes Carlin.
Carlin continued: 'On a darker day Paul would examine his friend from afar and feel a pulse of bile. Why had Artie gotten to be so blessed, with his height, his voice, his hair? And why did Paul have to be so dependent on him?'
Needing Garfunkel singing on stage next to him, 'put kerosene in Paul's veins'.
When someone called Garfunkel a sex symbol, Simon went ballistic.
'For f**k sake! He'd known Artie since they were eleven: Artie with braces, Artie with zits, Artie with a Yarmulke on his head surrounded by all the bearded Jews hoisting the Torah around the synagogue in Queens,' Carlin writes.
'Can you imagine girls writing love letters to someone called Garfunkel?'
Carlin (right), who charts Simon's personal demons and the rise of his career, also accuses Simon of repeatedly failing to give other musicians credit for their work in the book (left)
A lifetime pattern evolved: When a decade-long feud between the pair ended, they were back singing in harmony.
But it would inevitably end again with another decade of feuding, leading to the relationship the men face today – silence between them.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, but raised in Queens, New York, Simon never measured up to his father's hopes and dreams that his son become a lawyer rather than a singer-songwriter, a path he, himself, unsuccessfully tried to follow.
Adding to his parental disappointment was his stature. Although he was smart, athletic and personable, Simon was 'small like a mouse, small like a pip squeak, small like the punch line to every short-guy joke the other kids could image'.
'Did he live in a dollhouse: Did his mom bring him to school in her pocket,' writes Carlin.
Teased by classmates, they'd swipe his Yankees cap until he finally went after them with fisticuffs, always getting his hat back.
Silencing the self-abuse was harder when he barely grew an inch while his classmates stretched upwards.
On a spring afternoon in 1952 when school buses were late and a teacher ushered all the students into the auditorium to hear fourth-grader Art sing, something was awakened inside Simon.
When Garfunkel sang Nat King Cole's hit, They Try to Tell Us We're Too Young, Simon knew he, too, wanted to perform – outside of his bedroom behind closed doors, in search of the same applause and cheers.
So Simon sought out the company of Garfunkel, and they became pals talking about songs they heard on the radio.
Garfunkel tracked the weekly Hit Parade with his mathematical graphs while Simon listened to Latin dance band music.
Garfunkel (right), who often hunched over to level out their height difference, was blessed with good looks. Simon's dependence on Garfunkel on stage 'put kerosene in Paul's veins'
The two became friends, walking together to school, smoking cigarettes, singing doo-wop songs by the school's flagpole at lunchtime, and flirting with girls
By 1956, their high school talent show performance made them famous in the neighborhood, and the two took on the personas of Tom Graph and Jerry Landis
Garfunkel's father, Jack, was an early techie and one of the first owners of home recording equipment with a Webcor recording device.
Garfunkel and his older brother, Jules, used the equipment as their vocal lab. Simon soon joined their afternoon basement sessions.
'I would sit and examine exactly how Paul says his 'T's at the end of words,' Garfunkel once said. 'Where the tongue would hit the palate exactly. And we would be real masters of precision'.
That quickly evolved to singing in public for the first time for Simon, and the two performed the Chords' doo-wop hit 'Sh-Boom' at a talent shot at Parsons Junior High where they both attended.
When Simon wasn't making music with Garfunkel, he worked on chord progressions in his bedroom after studying, 'even as his fingertips cracked and blood crusted the strings and frets' of his guitar.
The two began walking together to school, smoking cigarettes, singing doo-wop songs by the school's flagpole at lunchtime, and flirting with girls.
They double-dated, necked in Garfunkel's basement and wrote and copyrighted original songs together.
By 1956, their Urban Everly brothers act riled up the crowds at a Forest Hills High School talent show and the performance made them famous in the neighborhood.
Simon was intoxicated by the recognition and 'started selecting his clothes with more care, and [he spent] more time in the construction of his piled-up-and swept-back hairstyle'.
'He felt attractive on a good day' but not enough to sing solo.
But Simon struck a solo deal with Sid Prosen, deciding he wanted a shot at being Elvis without telling Garfunkel, who was furious at his betrayal
Garfunkel knew of Simon's insecurities and 'made a point of standing slightly behind Simon, or even hunching his shoulders to make their height disparity less obvious'.
But that only made Simon all the more dependent on Garfunkel.
In their senior year of high school, they wrote Hey, Schoolgirl, booked time at Sid Prosen's recording studio in New York, sang on American Bandstand and had a hit as the duo Tom and Jerry.
They were paid $176 each, but the checks were immediately handed over to Dick Clark who kept all the money because those were the days of payola, or bribery for promotion of a record.
Prosen was hot for the duo and Simon assured him that as good as he and Garfunkel were together, there were things he could do on his own, like tapping into an Elvis-like sound.
Prosen struck a deal with Simon's father, Louis Simon, who had written a song that he played with the then-famous Lee Simms Orchestra on WOR-TV.
The deal with Prosen, who was releasing records by the Lee Simms Orchestra, now added a side contract launching Simon's solo career – 'even before he and Artie had sung a note on their first professionally produced record'.
The tune of Simon's first solo record, a weird idea concocted by his father, was a rockabilly shuffle and 'the goofiest performance he ever committed to record'.
'Somehow, in all the excitement of Hey, Schoolgirl, Simon forgot to mention this side deal to Artie,' writes Carlin.
It was two months before he came clean - and when news of the solo deal emerged, Simon wasn't even apologetic. After all, he figured, he and Garfunkel could be the next Everly Brothers, 'and he had decided he wanted a shot at being Elvis'.
While the two went their separate ways for college, Simon had publicity pictures taken, signed a manager and started hustling his songs in Midtown to labels, producers and scouts
'The selfishness Paul displayed once it started, had webbed their friendship with cracks,' Carlin writes in his book
The pressed records arrived at Simon's house with just one song credited to his real name, while the rest listed True Taylor, his new moniker.
Garfunkel was furious, since the two had agreed that their pop star identities were going to remain Tom and Jerry, high schoolers from Anytown, USA, 'not Paul and Artie from the most Jewish high school in the most Jewish section of Queens, New York'.
Simon was going to be Jerry Landis, (he chose Landis after a girlfriend) and Garfunkel was Tom Graph, because of his interests in mathematics.
Though no hits followed, they played sock hops and concerts on the teenage circuit in the tri-state area.
'The selfishness Paul displayed once it started, had webbed their friendship with cracks,' Carlin writes.
'The tenderness between them had faded. You can still love someone who shoves you aside, but you can no longer trust him in quite the same way', writes the author.
Simon spent his royalties from Hey, Schoolgirl on a red hardtop Chevrolet Impala convertible and stayed in the neighborhood to attend Queens College.
Garfunkel headed over to upper Manhattan and enrolled at the Ivy League Columbia University.
They didn't speak again for five years.
But then Simon's Impala burst into flames one night when driving home within sight of Garfunkel's house.
Simon got out just in time before the windows burst, the upholstery on fire and the white walls reduced to puddles.
That marked the end of an era and their relationship in the 1950s.
Simon headed to Queens College (pictured, Simon second from left in front row, top) where he studied English
At Queens College that fall of September 1958, Simon wore Adler elevator shoes that advertised the ability to make men instantly taller by two to four inches. His hair was also piled even higher on top of his head.
Still thinking about his career as Jerry Landis, he had publicity pictures taken, signed a manager and started hustling his songs in Midtown to labels, producers and scouts.
He also got a part time job writing arrangements for writers' music at $25 a pop.
He also got a part time job writing arrangements for writers' music at $25 a pop
He eventually signed with the publishing company Wemar Music and cut a track, Anna Belle. It was a bust but Simon wasn't dismayed. He cut more as Jerry Landis and bombed.
'He mouths clichés that condescend to heartbreak. The music is just as void, always the same standard doo-wop ballad progression, the same oohs and ahhs…the same cooing vocal style,' writes Carlin.
'Yet to listen to Landis songs, particularly in light of everything that would happen in the near future, you guess that Jerry Landis had no idea who he was, either.
'He was a persona looking to become a pop mastermind'.
At Queens College, Simon was smoking weed and playing 'silly romantic songs, nothing political and nothing ethnic' in the school cafeteria.
As Jerry Landis in the early 1960s, he wore shiny white bucks and a shimmering hair helmet, a projection of his high school music fantasies.
He needed to voice his darker feelings inside so he traveled to California in the summer of 1962.
And then he ran into Garfunkel, who was now into folk music and the likes of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.
The pair decided to sing together when Garfunkel finished hitchhiking through California and Simon came back from a trip to Europe.
Simon returned home to Queens and with Garfunkel into his first year of Columbia University's graduate program in mathematics, the pair got back together, singing harmonies as Garfunkel encouraged his friend to write more.
The pair busked together in Washington Square Park in New York's Greenwich Village and knocked on Midtown office doors in search of a recording contract.
It was forthcoming from Columbia Records.
The two ran into each other in California, and got back together, singing harmonies in New York's Washington Square Park before securing a recording contract with Columbia Records
Simon abandoned his studies at Brooklyn Law School studying music industry law, saying: 'I want to be a musician who hires these lawyers.'
And so he and Garfunkel headed down to play at folk music clubs with the likes of Bob Dylan.
By the mid to late 1960s, they were finally Simon and Garfunkel.
They smoked marijuana, experimented with LSD, made hit records and sold out the Hollywood Bowl singing Mrs. Robinson and Homeward Bound.
But Carlin's book also claimed Simon failed to credit two musicians in the British folk scene in the credits of Simon and Garfunkel's third album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.
It was a pattern Simon showed repeatedly - in his first solo album, he took sole credit for compositions that the renowned backup band The Swampers helped improvise, according to Carlin.
He also bought the rights to a South African group's song that eventually went into his track 'Gumboots', even though a young musician Heidi Berg had shown him the tapes with the hopes of incorporating the sounds into her own record, Carlin writes.
By the mid to late 1960s, they were finally Simon and Garfunkel. They smoked marijuana, experimented with LSD, made hit records and sold out the Hollywood Bowl
But Carlin's book also claimed Simon failed to credit two musicians in the British folk scene in the credits of Simon and Garfunkel's third album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Simon's jealousy was also a recurring problem, especially after film director Mike Nichols offered a role to both men in his upcoming film, Catch-22.
They were delighted until Simon's character was cut from the working script.
Simon's insecurities were exacerbated when Garfunkel, with his 'movie star looks', appeared in Nichols' film Carnal Knowledge the following year.
Simon seemed understanding until he needed Garfunkel in the recording studio while he was off being a movie star and a sex symbol.
'Well, f**k him,' Simon said. The resentment flared as he was the one left behind.
It was Simon's British friends that knew the underlying tension in the duo's relationship.
Simon prided himself on his song-writing abilities
'Just as Paul's songs were enhanced by Artie's voice, Paul's determination was offset by his partner's more ethereal sensibility, sometimes to the point where Paul couldn't stand it,' Carlin writes.
On one occasion, Garfunkel overslept and missed a flight to a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
He spent $10,000 to book a private plane to get there but it was too late - all the money had to be returned and the promoter had to be compensated.
Infuriated, Simon smashed his guitar against the concrete wall at the airport.
Garfunkel was now a movie star with movie star looks, 'they kept saying'.
Simon was angered that he felt dependent on Garfunkel when he was the one who played guitar and wrote all the songs
'And Paul? The shortness, the chubby face that made him look chunky even when he was twenty-two, twenty-three years old,' Carlin writes.
Simon was clever with his comb, 'developing new and increasingly convoluted patterns to cover the pink top of his otherwise bushy head' – worse now in the late '60s.
More jealousy soared when Simon took the spotlight and sang Bridge Over Troubled Water, which he wanted recognition for writing.
'Artie was sick of working within the boundaries of Paul's desires and needs,' Carlin writes.
Generally he tried to accommodate Simon's insecurities by complimenting his songs, his voice, hunching his shoulders when they were standing close to each other, or a step behind or sitting down in photo sessions so he didn't loom over Simon.
But now he was sick of the relentless insecurities and just wanted to be a movie star.
'I'm very good-looking. I look like a movie star,' he told Simon.
That enraged and devastated Simon who said, 'Part of him saw these movies as an opportunity to f**k me over…I mean he really made me feel bad'.
More jealousy soared when Simon took the spotlight and sang Bridge Over Troubled Water, which he wanted recognition for writing
Simon eventually started seeing a therapist four times a week but eventually went down to three in hopes of working through his fear of flying solo. Still, he settled into a depression
When the tour in 1970 was over and they walked off in separate directions.
Simon was terrified. He hadn't played without Garfunkel by his side for more than five years – and no one wanted to hear him sing, he told himself.
He started seeing a therapist four times a week but eventually went down to three in hopes of working through his fear of flying solo. Still, he settled into a depression.
But five years later, in the mid-1970s, Simon and Garfunkel found their way back together.
It didn't last long, however, because Simon wanted no input on his music - he just wanted Garfunkel to step up to the microphone to sing harmonies. Six months was all Garfunkel could take.
By the mid-1970s, Simon and Garfunkel found their way back together. But Simon wanted no input on his music and six months was all Garfunkel could take
After 30 years of knowing each other, the friendship was still riddled with feelings of abuse
When Garfunkel's girlfriend Laurie Bird committed suicide in 1979, Simon talked him into a show in Central Park.
Both were approaching 40 years old, and the calcium deposits in Simon's fingers prevented him from playing guitar for two hours. Again he needed Garfunkel.
When they met, they bickered and both wore hairpieces to cover their ascending foreheads - the love wasn't there to stay.
By 1983, Garfunkel was smoking cigarettes so heavily that his vocal cords were corroded and he had to put a halt to performing until his voice recovered.
After 30 years of knowing each other, the friendship was still riddled with feelings of abuse.
And Garfunkel still carried the feeling of being betrayed 25 years earlier, with Simon tried striking out on his own.
Simon married Carrie Fisher in 1983, only to divorce a year later and continue dating
Simon had worked his way through romances with Bette Midler, Shelley Duvall and was now with Carrie Fisher, daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
The two married in 1983 only to divorce a year later and continue dating.
They decided to take a float trip down a remote stretch of the Amazon where they learned about a witch doctor who had tribal cures. She was depressed and Simon had his own skeletons in the closet.
Simon and Fisher agreed to the 'spiritual cleanings', consumed the hallucinogenic tea, saw an anaconda snake in a vision but couldn't attest to any results.
When their 12 years together was over, he moved on to marry Edie Brickell.
But the decades of hurts and grudge between Simon and Garfunkel didn't evaporate.
Simon told friends he didn't even like Garfunkel.
Garfunkel, who turns 75 in November, attacked Simon in the media, saying he never received due credit for all his years as one half of the duo.
The mention of a reunion brought the response: 'We are currently in one of our breakup phases. But that could change at any moment. Possibly at one of our funerals.'
At 75, Simon has seemingly made peace with his fast diminishing hair, wears fedoras, and lives with Edie and his family in Connecticut.
Simon told friends he didn't even like Garfunkel. Garfunkel, who turns 75 in November, attacked Simon in the media, saying he never received due credit
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