When the Beatles split up, John Lennon and Paul McCartney didn’t have a good relationship. The former bandmates exchanged insults through songs and scathing letters. Although they frequently disagreed, they had a family bond and neither wanted to hold grudges forever. Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon shared a similarly strained relationship, and Lennon turned to the former for advice on reuniting with his bandmate.
Towards the end of the 1960s, relations between all members of The Beatles began to deteriorate. They fought over creative control, finances, and personal relationships. After the group broke up, Lennon shared that he was so angry with McCartney and George Harrison that he wasn’t sure he could ever forgive them.
“Ringo was fine, so was Maureen, but the other two really gave it to us,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971. ** about Hare Krishna and God and Paul with his ‘Well, I’ve changed my mind.’ I really can’t forgive them for that. Although I can’t help but still love her too.”
Similarly, Simon and Garfunkel’s relationship has often been rocky. They broke up after their last studio album, Bridge over troubled water, and rarely spoke due to the tensions between them. Though they have reunited several times over the years, Simon is confident it will never happen again.
“You know, the music basically stopped in 1970,” he told NPR in 2016. “And, you know, I mean, in all honesty, we don’t get along. So it’s not like it’s fun. If it was fun, I’d say, okay, sometimes we go out and sing old songs in harmony. That’s cool. But if it’s not fun, you know, and you’re going to get into a tense situation, well, I have a lot of musical areas that I like to play in. So this will never happen again. This is the.”
Simon and Garfunkel had an ongoing relationship, but Lennon saw them as a good example of reuniting with a former partner. He turned to Garfunkel for advice.
“I have a great memory of John Lennon, meeting him one night with Yoko Ono and David Bowie,” Garfunkel said Beatles stories, by express. “It was in the mid ’70s and we just got back from a show together. So let’s go back to the Dakota [John’s apartment], Bowie was with us. And John pulls me into the bedroom.”
Simon & Garfunkel were reunited and Lennon considered reuniting with McCartney.
“Arty, you worked with your Paul [Simon] Recently I’ve been getting calls from New Orleans that my Paul [McCartney] wants to work with me,” Lennon said. “I’m thinking about it and I don’t know. How was working with Paul? [Simon]?”
Garfunkel was shocked that he was asking his advice, but he offered what he could.
“Remember there was a mix of music that gave a great kick,” he said. “When you can, get back to the fun of that sound and musical happenings with your old pal and ignore the threads of complications and history. What I found with my Paul was the harmony and the sounds happening on a packed agenda. They will keep you busy and you will have fun.”
Years later, Simon got reunion advice from another Beatle. As he spoke to Harrison, he realized that holding a grudge against his former co-worker wasn’t worth it. Harrison spoke about reconnecting with McCartney after years of tensions. Simon found that inspiring.
“I saw it that way, how long will we live? Am I going to die without making up with this guy I’ve known since I was eleven?” Simon said, according to the book Paul Simon: Life by Robert Hilburn. “I ended up calling Artie and saying, ‘Let’s fix it.'”