Art Garfunkel’s poor vocal health has forced Simon & Garfunkel to postpone their Old Friends reunion tour indefinitely. The duo launched their long-awaited string of dates at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in April, where Garfunkel first showed signs of vocal stress. “It’s not that the mike is not on. It’s that the voice is a little elusive right now,” he told fans from the stage there. Four days later, the pair pushed back the rest of their April and May shows to July to allow Garfunkel an “adequate period of rest and rehabilitation.”
While doctors say Garfunkel will recover fully from his vocal paresis, there is no clear timetable as to when he’ll return to full strength. “I do feel bad about disrupting so many people’s plans but, as I continue to mend, I can’t yet bring my ‘A Game’ to a tour, and I would not perform for you with anything less,” Garfunkel said in a statement posted on the duo’s official website.
The Jazz Fest show was Simon & Garfunkel’s first concert since last year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary appearance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The duo launched a highly successful reunion in 2003 that was their first outing in 20 years; the trek grossed $123 million. The tour’s set list encompassed all of their 1960s hits in addition to a small handful of Paul Simon solo tracks such as “American Tune” and “Slip Slidin’ Away.” At the time Simon revealed it was unlikely they’d tour again. “Because we do this every 10 or 12 years, this is probably the last time we’re going to do this,” he said. The duo reconsidered, however, and announced a new tour of Australia in New Zealand in April 2009. They added the North American dates a year later, the majority of which were scheduled in Canada.