Snippets taken from one of the first articles ever written about Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel, a/k/a Tom & Jerry, a feature in the Forest Hills High School Beacon in the ‘Have You Met?’ series of columns in either January or February of 1958. Written by Phil Gossett, the Tom & Jerry piece appeared on the issue’s front page next to a companion feature on Mrs. Grossman, “…one of Forest Hills’s most energetic English teachers.”
The story also includes the answer to the question: When did Paul Simon first say he would soon retire from the music business? He’d say it again. And again. And again. And…
Forest Hills was first introduced to Tom and Jerry when they sang for the sophomore assemblies two years ago. “We have yet to get as good a hand,” remarked Tom graciously.
Whether they’ve gotten as good a hand or not, we can’t say, but they certainly have gained popularity. In the past month they’ve played in Cincinnati, in Philadelphia on the American Bandstand, in Washington, and in Baltimore. Before the first of January they are to appear on the Big Record.
In Cincinnati, they probably had their most enthusiastic crowd. Jerry laughed out, “I got some letters which say that the girls who wrote them are running away to New York to be with us. They requested directions as to which trains to take. We’re not sure whether we won’t give them to them,” he grinned mischievously.
“Of course, most aren’t as fanatical as this,” added Tom. “Some just ask for incidental things like the color of our shoelaces, or for pictures.”
“Really, the whole craze isn’t too hard to explain,” remarked Jerry. “You know, kids would rather look up to people their own ages than to adults. That’s why we find the audience packed with fourteen or fifteen year olds. As long as they’re not too fanatical, the enthusiasm is healthy. As far as we’re concerned, in all our appearances we have seen nothing done by audiences which has been destructive.”
As for their futures, Tom (Artie Garfunkel) will probably go into architecture as a career. He’s done a good deal of work in mechanical drawing in high school. Jerry (Paul Simon) is interested in law. He’d like to study in the city for two years and then go out of town.
But, rock ‘n’ roll, while giving them both terrific experiences and enjoyment, will play a small part in their future plans.