The Untold Truth Of Simon And Garfunkel

It’s hard to imagine Simon or Garfunkel feeling they had to hide behind pseudonyms once, but that’s exactly how they started their careers. Paul Simon, in particular, went through several fake names before finally settling on his real name as his favorite.

When the pair started writing and playing together, they weren’t crafting folk songs, but rather ’50s sock-hop teen pop. Emulating their idols, the Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel would perform corny bubblegum songs like “Hey Schoolgirl,” their first hit. “Schoolgirl” scored them a record deal, but not as Simon and Garfunkel. According to Rolling Stone, the label feared their actual names were “too ethnic” and would alienate the Middle America crowd. (It was a different time.) So Art Garfunkel became Tom Graph and Paul Simon became Jerry Landis, or “Tom and Jerry.” Sadly, Garfunkel didn’t chase Simon around the house only to take a mousetrap to the tail.

Simon quickly decided he liked hiding his cheesy, unsophisticated music behind a pretend name, and crafted several more over his pre-S&G career. Variously, he was Jerry Landis, True Taylor, and Paul Kane. He also joined various bands (The Mystics, Tico and the Triumphs), usually under the Jerry Landis name. Garfunkel, meanwhile, was Tom until the pair got good enough that he could stop being Tom. Too bad they didn’t record a song or two as “Bugs and Daffy,” just for the laughs.

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