Broadcast recorded long ago but “live” on WFUV.org. (90.7). My pal Lou VanLeeuwen says he went to high school with these guys and remembers them as “Tom and Jerry”. The rascal’s just old enough for the story to be true.
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Back in the late ’60s I was attending a Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa concert in my college gym in Buffalo, NY. I was sitting in the front row (actually on the floor in front of the front row of seats), and after they’d played a while, Zappa introduced “Tom and Jerry.” They were directly in front of me, just a few yards away, but they were at least halfway through their set before I realized who the were. They didn’t sing any S & G songs, so I’ll bet I wasn’t the only one who was temporarily fooled. They kept up the ruse throughout their act and never revealed to the audience who they really were. It was incredible.
Those were the days!
I found a couple of references to my above story, not entirely in agreement with my memories, but it’s been a long time – not just for me but for anyone recounting those events:
The Zappa story is from The Real Frank Zappa Book. Zappa met Simon and Garfunkel in New York and, as the oldies freak he was, was astonished to find out they had been Tom and Jerry. They were reminiscing about being on the road, which was already over for S & G and Zappa impulsively invited them to open the next night in Buffalo, with ensuing stunt. Some moron after the show accused him of making fun of S&G. “What did she think had just happened? That these two superstars had dropped in out of nowhere and we had forced them to sing ‘OOO-boppa-loochy-bah, she’s mine!’?” Ortolan88
Tom and Jerry was the original stage name used by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in 1957. They had a hit with the song “Hey Schoolgirl”. Garfunkel was Tom, and Simon was Jerry. They toured for eighteen months before retiring to become college students and then reforming in 1963 as Simon and Garfunkel.
One last appearance under the old name came in Buffalo, NY, in 1967, when they opened for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. They did a short set as Tom and Jerry, performing only their old numbers. This was followed by the usual chaotic Mothers show. Then they came back out for an encore, still in the guise of Tom and Jerry, and sang “Sounds of Silence” to a suddenly comprehending audience.
Don’t mean to beat this story to death, but I found another scrap that might interest S & G trivia fans. From The Real Frank Zappa Book:
Tom & Jerry
I was in Manny’s Musical Instruments in New York sometime in 1967, and it was raining outside. A little
guy came walking in, kind of wet, and introduced himself as Paul Simon. He said he wanted me to come
to dinner at his house that night, and gave me the address. I said okay and went there.
As I walked in the door, Paul was on his hands and knees in front of what appeared to be a Magnavox
stereo — the same model preferred by “the Stumbler” from Sun Village. He had his ear right up to the
speaker, listening to a Django Reinhardt record.
Within moments — for no apparent reason — he announced that he was upset because he had to pay six
hundred thousand dollars in income tax that year. This was completely unsolicited information, and I
thought to myself, If only I could earn six hundred thousand dollars. What did you have to earn in order
to have to pay that much tax? Then Art Garfunkel came in, and we talked and talked.
They hadn’t been on the road in a long time, and were reminiscing about the ‘good old days.’ I didn’t
realize that they used to be called Tom & Jerry, and that they once had a hit song called “Hey, Schoolgirl
in the Second Row.”
I said, “Well, I can understand your desire to experience the joys of touring once again, and so I’ll make
you this offer. . . we’re playing in Buffalo tomorrow night. Why don’t you guys come up there and open for
us as Tom & Jerry? I won’t tell anybody. Just get your stuff and go out there and sing ‘Hey, Schoolgirl in
the Second Row’ — just play only your old stuff, no Simon & Garfunkel tunes.” They loved the idea and
said they would do it.
They did the opener as Tom & Jerry; we played our show, and at the encore I told the audience, “I’d like
to bring back our friends to do another number.” They came out and played “Sounds of Silence.” At that
point it dawned on everybody that this was the one, and only, the magnificent SIMON & GARFUNKEL.
On the way out, after the show, a college-educated woman walked over to me and said, “Why did you do
that? Why did you make fun of Simon & Garfunkel?” — as if I had pulled some kind of cruel joke on them.
What the fuck did she think had just happened? That these two SUPERSTARS had dropped in out of
nowhere and we had FORCED them to sing “OOO-boppa-loochy-bah, she’s mine!”?
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