Simon and Garfunkel reunite for first tour in 20 years

— Dusting the cobwebs off their friendship, the folk-rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced Tuesday they were reuniting for a concert tour of North America this fall.

Shows begin Oct. 18 at The Palace at Auburn Hills, outside Detroit.

The '60s favorites, who last recorded together in 1975, have sold more than 40 million albums in the United States with hits like "The Sound of Silence," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Mrs. Robinson."

They're titling the tour "Old Friends," but the men had had a contentious relationship until the ice broke earlier this year when they performed "The Sound of Silence" together at the Grammy Awards.

"I never actually thought that we'd lost our ability to sing together and have a blend," Simon said. "What we had was a friendship that was estranged, and the Grammys was an opportunity to put that behind us. That's exactly what we did."

Garfunkel said it was "truly a joy" to sing again with Simon, whom he's known for 50 years.

"It's family, the two of us," he said. "Our moms know each other. They're still alive. There has been a deep, buried affection for the last decade or so and it was the Grammys that forced it out of burial."

The duo sang three songs at The Bottom Line nightclub in New York City: "Old Friends," "Homeward Bound" and "The Boxer." Simon strummed an acoustic guitar and Garfunkel clasped his hands in front of him as he reached for high notes.

They shared knowing glances during a line from "Old Friends" -- "how terribly strange to be 70" -- that has far more resonance than when Simon wrote it. Both men will turn 62 during the tour.

photo

AP Photo

Art Garfunkel, left, and Paul Simon share a laugh during a press conference in New York where they announced their first concert tour together in 20 years. The tour, "Old Friends: The 2003 Concert Tour," begins Oct. 18 and will visit approximately 30 cities across North America.

They will stick almost exclusively to old Simon & Garfunkel material, with maybe one or two songs from the intervening solo years.

For example, Simon said he's always imagined his solo song, "Slip Slidin' Away," as a Simon & Garfunkel tune.

Tour dates are not yet available, but will be posted on www.simonandgarfunkel.com.

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