I’m departing from my usual new video posting for a classic instead. Today is the 30th anniversary of the historic concert in Central Park by Simon & Garfunkel, and given the pair’s history it’s still a joy to see and hear them performing together for this show.
The Concert in Central Park is a live album by Simon & Garfunkel. On September 19, 1981 the folk-rock duo reunited for a free concert on the Great Lawn of New York’s Central Park, attended by more than 500,000 people. They released a live album from the concert the following March (Warner Brothers LP 2BSK 3654; CD 3654). It was arranged by Paul Simon and Dave Grusin, and produced by Simon, Art Garfunkel, Phil Ramone and Roy Halee.
The concert was also shot on videotape, televised by HBO in 1982, and subsequently released on various home video formats. The VHS and DVD contain two songs that were omitted from the live album: “The Late Great Johnny Ace” and “Late in the Evening (Reprise)”. “Johnny Ace” was disrupted by a fan rushing the stage and coming close to Simon and saying, “I need to talk to you”. Coincidentally, the song is an elegy upon the murder of John Lennon nine months earlier. “The Late Great Johnny Ace” is not listed in the track listing, appearing between “A Heart in New York” and “Kodachrome”.
In addition to hit songs they had recorded as a duo, they performed duet versions of several of Simon’s 1970s solo hits, including “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard”, “American Tune”, “Late In the Evening”, “Slip Sliding Away”, and “Kodachrome”, as well as Garfunkel’s solo version of “A Heart in New York”.
Here, then, is the show in five parts, as found on Youtube: