Simon, Garfunkel, and Sophomores…

One of my nephews just started his sophomore year of high school today, which got me thinking about MY first day as a sophomore in high school…

The year was 1983. My oldest sister’s boyfriend had gotten tickets to a Simon & Garfunkel reunion concert in Atlanta the day before school started and off we went: my two sisters, their boyfriends, my brother’s girlfriend, and me. The show was in Georgia Tech’s stadium, I think, and so all the concert goers were trying to get into Atlanta along with all the Braves fans coming in for a home game.

We had seats in the nosebleed section, but it was the first concert I ever saw that used video screens so you could see the show, even from so far away. S&G arrived almost an hour  late, but kicked off the show with “Cecilia,” which put everybody back in a friendly mood. It was a great concert and the whole audience knew the words to every song.

Afterwards, though, we all had to get OUT of Atlanta–along with all the cranky Braves fans who sat through a loss rather than a groovy tunes concert. It was chaotic and slow going, to say the least. It got later and later and I got more and more droopy until I finally pulled down the pass-through seat in my sister’s boyfriend’s Corolla and crawled into the trunk to get a little shut-eye. My brother’s girlfriend fell asleep across the back seat, pretty much sealing me in the trunk for the duration of the trip. It was kind of cold in the trunk, and there was a lot of road noise and a bit of glare from the taillights. Not particularly restful, although the wind whistling around me may have kept me from carbon monoxide poisoning…

We finally got home around 2 am, I think, and I stumbled into bed for a few hours’ real sleep before getting up to catch the school bus and start my sophomore year. I wore my new concert T-shirt, which had long sleeves and was way too hot for August, and I spent the day in a bit of a daze, with my ears still ringing and my lack of sleep lapping up around me, threatening to carry me away by afternoon.

Thirty years have passed since that concert, and I still wonder what my parents were thinking to let me go to a show in Atlanta on the night before school started. And why I thought it was a good idea to get into the trunk (it wasn’t, really, for a variety of reasons).

P.S. I still have the T-shirt, which was covered with the lyrics from “America.” (Hear it here.)

A photo from the official Simon & Garfunkel website

Here’s an excerpt from their website that confirms the show I remember:


During the Spring, Simon & Garfunkel continued their highly-successful European tour.  In July and August, they brought the tour back to the U.S. for a series of “stadium” concerts.

July 19, Akron; July 20, Pontiac; July 21, Toronto (Canada); July 23, Chicago; July 27, Milwaukee; July 28, Minneapolis; July 29, Pittsburg; July 31 E. Rutherford; August 3, Foxboro; August 6, New York; August 13, Laurel; August 14, Atlanta; August 17, Houston; August 18, Dallas; August 20, Oakland; August 22, Vancouver (Canada); August 27, Los Angeles; August 28, San Diego; August 30, Boulder.

These US dates were in addition to the 19 concerts they performed during their international tour (1981-83). A full segment of ABC’s “20/20” was devoted to Simon & Garfunkel in honor of their “Summer Evening Tour.”

On August 16th, Art Garfunkel attended the wedding of Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher. The ceremony was held in Paul’s west side apartment.

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