Simon and Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park

“Well, it’s great to do a neighborhood concert!”

As much as we sing the praises of kiddie stuff from the 80s (Teddy Ruxpin, cartoons, The Smurfs…), there was plenty of awesome things for the grown-ups, too.

And one of the most awesome happened on September 19, 1981, in New York’s Central Park.

No, it wasn’t a mugging or someone throwing a styrofoam McDonald’s container out of their horse-and-buggy ride. We’re talking about the reunion of the decade, at what would be the concert of the decade (at least until 1984’s Live Aid mega-show).

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel hadn’t really even talked to each other, much less performed together, for more than three years, but when presented with the chance to raise money to help refurbish Central Park, they agreed to put their many, storied differences behind them…and what a show we got.

500,000 people were on hand to witness the spectacle. From the opening chords of “Mrs. Robinson” straight through to the reprise encore of “Late in the Evening”, Simon and Garfunkel put on a concert for the ages. “Homeward Bound”, “Wake Up Little Susie”, “Bridge over Troubled Water”, “The Boxer”…and that’s before the encore of “Old Friends”, “The 59th Street Bridge Song”, and “The Sound of Silence”. The only thing really missing was “Cecilia”, but that’s a little like complaining about having to eat your least favorite ice cream.

The show went off largely without incident—especially impressive given the size of the crowd and the fact that it all happened in a wide-open field. In New York City. At night. Even when some dude jumped up on stage during Simon’s performance of “The Late Great Johnny Ace”, he was promptly shown the door, and Simon kept right on going.

In the end, the recording of the concert went double platinum, and the video release was a huge hit, too…and most importantly, more than $50,000 was raised for the park.

Plus, ya know, Simon and Garfunkel were back together again…for a few hours at least.

“…And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people maybe more!”

We ♥ Simon and Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park.

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~ by weheart80s on June 23, 2017.

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