I don’t very often think I’ve done a good job. I don’t like the majority of what I do. I shouldn’t say I don’t like it, but I’m not satisfied with almost everything that I do.
I don’t believe what the papers are saying They’re just out to capture my dime, Exaggerating this, exaggerating that.
People often called us perfectionists, but we were not looking for perfection. We were looking for some kind of magic in the music.
I think Bridge Over Troubled Water was a very good song. Artie sang it beautifully. The Boxer was a really nice record. But I don’t think I’ve written any great songs.
Not every song I write is ecstasy. And it can happen only one time. After that, when you sing the same melody and words, it’s pleasure, but you don’t get wiped out.
We were always able to sing and blend well together; that’s our gift. But aside from that, we’re really two different guys.
Having a track record to live up to and the history of successes had become a hindrance. It becomes harder to break out of what people expect you to do.
I would be willing to do almost anything to make Art happy. I care about our friendship. The only thing I won’t do is change the essence of my work.
My voice is my improvisational instrument, the melody instrument. The guitar is harmonic structure. I’m not a good enough guitarist to improvise on it.
I try to open up my heart as much as I can and keep a real keen eye out that I don’t get sentimental. I think we’re all afraid to reveal our hearts. It’s not at all in fashion.
The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.
When I was 15, I made a solo record. It made Artie very unhappy. He looked upon it as something of a betrayal.
If you can get humor and seriousness at the same time, you’ve created a special little thing, and that’s what I’m looking for, because if you get pompous, you lose everything.
How much can you do with two voices? You can sing thirds or you can sing fifths or you can do a background harmony.
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.
Being an artist doesn’t mean that you’re a good artist. That was the bargain I first made with myself: I’d say, I’m an artist, but I’m not really very good.
We just did what we’d done when we were an act in the ’60s. But I found it impossible to hold a dialogue with 500,000 people. In a certain sense, it was numbing.
I question what emotion Manilow touches. People are entertained by him. But are they emotionally moved? I don’t believe anything that Barry Manilow sings.
I lived in an attached house. My father used to drive into the wrong driveway all the time. He’d say, Damn it, how do you tell one of these houses from another?
Artie travels all the time. The rehearsals were just miserable. Artie and I fought all the time. He didn’t want to do the show with my band; he just wanted me on acoustic guitar.
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.
One of the things that upset me was some of the criticism leveled at Simon and Garfunkel. I always took exception to it, but actually I agree with a lot of it.
I don’t feel any pressure from fans. But I’m always in some kind of state of emotional turmoil. I would not describe myself as happy-go-lucky. That’s not to say that I’m not happy.
I suppose an artist takes the elements of his life and rearranges them and then has them perceived by others as though they were the elements of their lives.
I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one.
I don’t think that Simon and Garfunkel as a live act compares to Simon and Garfunkel as a studio act.
My whole artistic life has always been about change, change, change, move on, move on. It’s the only thing I find interesting.
I’m not in it for the money. I like music. I love to write music. I can’t imagine myself not playing or singing or writing. It would just drive me crazy if I didn’t.