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A nation turns its troubled minds to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends”

Ken Shane, new music editor at Popdose, reflects on the American generation of the late 1960s latching onto Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends (1968) and Mike Nichols’ film, The Graduate (1967) during a turbulent period in American history.

Image of the Simon & Garfunkel Bookends album

"The first side of Bookends is something of a concept. After opening with a portrait of a generation poised on the edge of a precipice ("Save the Life of My Child"), Paul Simon charts the course of a relationship, bookending it if you will, from its start – "Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together" ("America"), through tribulations – "Why don’t we stop fooling ourselves? The game is over" ("Overs"), to reconciliation – "Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?" ("Old Friends"). Side One closes with with the "Bookends Theme," which not only addresses the lost relationship, but the lost dreams of an entire generation…

Photo of Simon & Garfunkel by Richard Avedon

Side Two opens with one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, “Fakin’ It,” and closes with the wistful “At the Zoo,” in which Simon speculates that perhaps the animals know more than we give them credit for. In the middle of the side are the monster hits “Mrs. Robinson,” and “A Hazy Shade of Winter.” Bookends has it all, the beautiful relationship story, the generational touchstones, and the big hits.”

Read the full review at Popdose.

Photo of Simon & Garfunkel by Richard Avedon

Share your favorite Bookends track or a notable memory from the late 1960s.



Simon & Garfunkel's Live 1969 Album Podcasts

Rita Houston from WFUV-FM in New York hosts the story of Simon & Garfunkel, from their early days in Queens, NY to their 1969 tour captured on the recently released live album, Live 1969.

In this podcast series from Legacy Podcasts, listeners will hear archival interview clips with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel along with new comments by pop journalist Bud Scoppa. Listeners will also hear from two of Paul & Art’s Forest Hills High School classmates - Stuart Hochman and Robert Lieberman (director of the documentary Last Stop Kew Gardens).

The half-hour series is divided into four downloadable podcasts that were released over the summer of 2009. A sample listing of tracks from Live 1969 included in the series:

  • Homeward Bound,
  • Song For the Asking,
  • At the Zoo,
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),
  • Old Friends / Bookends,
  • The Sound of Silence,
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water,
  • Mrs. Robinson, and
  • For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her.




Interview with Veteran Recording Engineer Roy Halee on Recording Simon & Garfunkel and Others - Parts 1 & 2


Roy Halee: So anyway, I do this audition for Simon and Garfunkel.

Michael Fremer: Do you remember what song it was?

Roy Halee: Song? It was the whole album, man! The whole Wednesday Morning album was the audition.

Michael Fremer: Did they know they were doing a whole album or did they think they were doing an audition?

Roy Halee: They didn’t know. They were kids with their knees knocking through their pants. So we do this thing and I remember thinking I love it. I love these guys. I love the sound of their voices. I love the blend. Coming from a classical school, I heard classical influences. These guys are not run-of-the-mill and they’re a pleasure to work with.

Links to the full interview with Roy Halee on recording with Simon and Garfunkel:

Notes: Roy Halee reflects from his initial meeting of Simon & Garfunkel and his proud accomplishments on Bridge Over Troubled Water (album) to producing solo albums for the duo. The insightful glimpses from Halee recording with Simon & Garfunkel start around page 3 of Part 1.

Source: The transcript of the interview was originally published on July 1, 2005 by Michael Fremer on