Perhaps at 64, Art Garfunkel has had it up to here with his angelically clear and boyish tenor, and is making every effort to roughen it up, a la Howlin’ Wolf, or maybe DMX. A man can’t sing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “All I Know” forever, can he?
Or maybe he just can’t bear to drive around Woodstock, N.Y. — yes, THE Woodstock — without a joint flaming in the ashtray. Dude, the ’60s are over – a little discretion, please.
Either way, Garfunkel — the taller, frizzier half of Simon and Garfunkel, solo artist, and actor (Mike Nichols’ Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge) — has paid his debt to society for the second time in less than two years for marijuana possession in the Woodstock area; this time by speaking at two local high schools about “keeping a healthy lifestyle.”
Garfunkel, who lives in Manhattan, spoke in lieu of paying a $100 fine for the offense committed when police found a “marijuana cigarette” in his ashtray after pulling him over for running a stop sign last August.
“He was sincere, thoughtful and impressive,” Ulster County District Attorney Donald A. Williams said of the Garfunkel speech he attended at Onteora High School. “I sincerely believe he really connected with these students based on the questions from the kids and his honest responses.”
Williams told the Daily Freeman that Garfunkel’s message to the students “served the community far better than (another) $100 fine would have.”
The first charge came in January 2004 when police found the weed in his jacket pocket after the limo in which he was riding was pulled over for speeding. Garfunkel paid the fine that time.
Garfunkel will be touring Europe in June and July, and is also reportedly working with producer Richard Perry on material for a new album. Perry produced Garfunkel’s platinum Breakaway in 1975.
Arty surprised everyone, including himself no doubt, with how well his 2002 album Everything Waits to Be Noticed came out. It included his first songwriting efforts in almost 50 years – now that’s waiting to be noticed.