The Concert in Central Park
September 1, 2007 9:46 AM   Subscribe

The Concert in Central Park. On September 19, 1981, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel played these songs in a free concert for over 500,000 people: Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, America, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Scarborough Fair, April Come She Will, Wake Up Little Susie, Still Crazy After All These Years, American Tune, Late in the Evening, Slip Slidin' Away, A Heart in New York, The Late Great Johnny Ace, Kodachrome/Maybellene, Bridge Over Troubled Water, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, The Boxer, Old Friends, Bookends, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy), The Sound of Silence, and an encore of Late in the Evening. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone rushes the stage during "The Late Great Johnny Ace." That song and the "Late in the Evening" encore didn't get put on the album; Rolling Stone album review [Warning: Flash ad with annoying audio].

I couldn't find a video of the Central Park performance of "Still Crazy After All These Years," so here's Paul Simon performing the song dressed as a turkey on the second-ever episode of Saturday Night Live (October 18, 1975); Art Garfunkel joined him for "The Boxer" (in the turkey clip), "Scarborough Fair," and "My Little Town."

"American Tune" from their 2003 Old Friends tour (Art Garfunkel's in the same outfit with a blue shirt).
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 AM on September 1, 2007


Very nice, kirkaracha... I was planning to do this as a future post. :)
posted by Poolio at 9:51 AM on September 1, 2007


Why cant anyone find the search button on youtube??
I kid I kid great work!!
posted by wheelieman at 10:05 AM on September 1, 2007


As a kid, this was one of my favorite albums. "Well is great to do a neighborhood concert. I hope everyone can hear us. I hope that the sound is good. I hope we are blasting Central Park West and Fifth avenue pretty much away. I just want to thank the police department and the fire department and the parks commissioner, and Ed Koch. [Audience boos, garfunkel laughs] And particularly, you know, people that never get recognized for doing good things for the city, a group of people that have donated half of the proceeds that they're making tonight, the guys who are selling loose joints are giving the city half of their income tonight." Classic stuff for a 12 year old kid. Then they launch in to America or something. Would have loved to have been there.
posted by billysumday at 10:16 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm still mad at Yoko for breaking up Simon and Garfunkel.
posted by found missing at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2007 [3 favorites]


I listened to this album an insane amount of time as a kid. Thanks for this!
posted by ORthey at 10:28 AM on September 1, 2007


And Art singing the line "September I remember" will always give me chills.
posted by ORthey at 10:31 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's a great version of American Tune. Hadn't heard it with harmonies before.
posted by gfrobe at 10:42 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's the poetry of drugs and promiscuous sex. Look at the picture on the cover, they're on pot.
posted by psmealey at 11:38 AM on September 1, 2007


I was there. We didn't get to the park until noon. Sat there all afternoon guarding our spot. As the sun set we began to realize that the concert had started awhile earlier -- we were too far away to hear anything at all. So this is the first time I've seen or heard any of this -- thanks!
posted by gum at 11:54 AM on September 1, 2007


Bah. Still kicking myself that I didn't go to this. Just a quick train ride in from Jersey and I blew it off.
posted by octothorpe at 11:57 AM on September 1, 2007


I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I always get a kick out of the nasty little look Simon shoots at Garfunkel after the latter screws up near the beginning of The Boxer.
posted by Flunkie at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like the new verse in The Boxer, always one of my favorite S&G songs. They added a chorus about putting their differences behind them. It doesn't make sense in the song itself, which I always felt was more about the loneliness & struggle of making it in the big city & the , but it's still nice to see an acknowledgement of the 20 years or so that had passed between the duo's formation & the reunion. For those unfamiliar with the song, the new verse is:

"Now the years are rolling by me, they are rocking evenly, and I'm older than I once was, and younger than I'll be - that's not unusual. No, it isn't strange, after changes upon changes we are more or less the same, after changes, we are more or less the same"

They kick into this new verse at the 2:23 section of the song, and after you can see Art reach up & pat Paul on the back.
posted by jonson at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


the "Late in the Evening" encore didn't get put on the album

Sure it did. I remember it well. I looooved that tape when I was a kid.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2007


Wikipedia inaccuracy shocker!

I always get a kick out of the nasty little look Simon shoots at Garfunkel

Maybe he was pissed off at the imbalance of solo songs in the set. One Art Garfunkel song, eight Paul Simon songs.

After the concert they went on a world tour in 1982-83 and recorded an album, Think Too Much. The album was really personal (about Simon's failed marriages to Peggy Harper and Princess Leia), so they were both uncomfortable with Garfunkel singing them. Simon scrapped Garfunkel's vocals and released is as his solo Hearts and Bones.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:22 PM on September 1, 2007


Saw a poster at the movie theater today for an upcoming David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) performance that will be shown live in theaters. In the small print at the bottom of the poster it says that he will perform one song. WTF?
posted by neuron at 4:36 PM on September 1, 2007


I actually went to this concert.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:47 PM on September 1, 2007


jonson -- thanks for verifying that was indeed a new verse they added to THE BOXER. I heard that version a few years ago, thought it was a new verse, but could not find documentation.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:20 PM on September 1, 2007


Very cool. Some of Simon's newer stuff sure does sound different.
posted by washburn at 8:59 PM on September 1, 2007


Raised in an FM-free house, in a suburb too far away to get real rock on AM, S&G were my most favorite musicians. Their breakup was far more important to me than the Beatles. Then I bought my own FM radio, and discovered the world was far greater than I'd ever imagined.

A favorite tune of theirs? No one of them rises to the top. But I will say, I miss being able to sing Bridge Over Troubled Waters without excess strain. The high notes, they aren't so easy anymore.

I do not recall whether I knew of this concert when it happened. I was living a very pleasant 30 minute train ride from Penn Station. Maybe I was just working too hard to face a crowd. Maybe I just didn't hear about it. ::sigh::
posted by Goofyy at 12:54 AM on September 2, 2007


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