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Paul Simon opens up on ending friendship and partnership with Art Garfunkel

NEW YORK — Paul Simon is slip slidin’ back to the days of working with Art Garfunkel, and peeling back the curtain on what ended their iconic yet “uneven” partnership and decadeslong friendship.

The Grammy-winning Simon & Garfunkel co-founder, 82, noted in the first half of MGM+’s “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon” that they “were really best friends up until ‘Bridge over Troubled Water.'”

The “harmony of the friendship … was broken” from there on out, said Simon, who befriended Garfunkel, also 82, during their school days in Queens.

The duo didn’t officially part ways until 1970. However, the beginning of the end came when Garfunkel was cast in Mike Nichols’ adaptation of “Catch-22,” after he and Simon finished the soundtrack for Nichols’ 1967 film “The Graduate” — which features five Simon and Garfunkel songs, including “Mrs. Robinson.”

Garfunkel’s pivot to acting kicked off an “uneven balance of power,” as he expected Simon to “have written the songs” while he was filming.

“I thought, ‘Yeah? Actually, no. That’s not gonna happen. I am not gonna do that,'” said Simon. “We had an uneven partnership because I was writing all of the songs and basically running the sessions. … Artie would be in the control room with [producer] Roy [Halee], and he’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s good, let’s do that,’ but it was an uneven balance of power.”

It wasn’t as if the “Slip Slidin’ Away” crooner hadn’t previously penned all the pair’s tunes, but at that point, Simon and Garfunkel “were always sort of together.

“The main thing that we were interested in — we shared,” said Simon, noting that “everything got disrupted” by the film, especially when the schedule ran over.

The tensions proved “a recipe for the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel.”

“This is my oldest friend, and we experienced anonymity, and then great fame and success, and those things have their own pressure,” said Simon.

He also admitted in the documentary that his mother’s — and the world’s — praise of Garfunkel’s pipes above his own proved a “Freudian trauma,” particularly when he’d think to himself, “I wrote that song.”

Simon also spoke to “The Howard Stern Show” last year about the demise of his relationship with Garfunkel. Noting that “duos don’t stay together,” Simon surmised that he and Garfunkel “would’ve broken up anyway.”