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Simon & Garfunkel Reunite Onstage, Sing Chilling “Sound Of Silence” At Hall Of Fame Celebration.

Simon & Garfunkel perform "Sound of Silence" during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary, which was held in 2009 at New York's Madison Square Gardens.

When Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”hit the airwaves in 1964, it put the duo on the world’s radar for decades to come, and led to other chart-topping songs such as “Bridge Over Troubled Water,”“Mrs. Robinson,”and “I Am Rock.”But unbelievably, “Sound of Silence” — which also prompted their appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary in the video below — initially was a dud.

Simon wrote the song in 1963, when he was just 21 years old — mostly while holed up in the bathroom of his parents’ house, where he was living at the time.


“The main thing about playing the guitar was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream,”he explained. “And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run — I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me — and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again.’â€

The song was initially titled “Sounds of Silence,”and in its original creation, was accompanied only by two acoustic guitars and an upright bass. It was released in 1964 but met with little success, and Simon and Garfunkel soon parted ways. But the following year, producer Tom Wilson re-released a catchier version of the song, and the rest is history.


“Ahhh, what a tune!”Garfunkel said. “‘Sound of Silence’ has more melodic, genius, simple power than I ever realized. As the years go by, there’s something extraordinarily hooky about that simple melody — I didn’t know that.

“I knew it was a good-sounding record when it emerged … It was the sixth song Paul ever wrote,”he continued. “He would come to my apartment on Amsterdam Avenue, where the roaches were in the kitchen, and he’d play me his songs. When he got to this one, I said, ‘Best one yet!’â€


“The key to ‘The Sound of Silence’ is the simplicity of the melody and the words, which are youthful alienation,”Simon explained. “It’s a young lyric, but not bad for a 21-year-old. It’s not a sophisticated thought, but a thought that I gathered from some college reading material or something.”

“It wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level — nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone — it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people. Largely because it had a simple and singable melody.â€


Watch them perform “Sound of Silence”in the video below, filmed during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary in New York’s Madison Square Gardens.

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