Since the age of five, Joe Ellis, clinically diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, has sought refuge in the music of legends Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. So much so that Ellis, has gone further developing a Facebook Closed Group for the past two years Simon and Garfunkel UK; in addition to being in the process of writing a personal ethnography based on the lyrics of the famous pair.
Simon and Garfunkel UK is a Facebook group for fans of the duo to post memories, stories, memorabilia and personal reflections. The group has been publicised in both the UK and the States and membership currently stands at over ten thousand; with members around the globe including the UK, USA, Japan and Europe.
Ellis, has attended many concerts by both Simon and Garfunkel separately and the two together. The last reunion tour in 2003 saw Ellis attending concerts in London, Manchester and on three consecutive days at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. Ellis, together with his wife saw Garfunkel’s come back tour last year at the Royal Festival Hall, where Garfunkel, despite just recovering from serious throat problems, gave an emotional performance with his songs and poetry in a completely stripped back set which hid nothing; a fact that many critics did not allow to go unnoticed.
Ellis said ‘this event was probably one of the best solo performances I have ever attended. It was emotional, intimate and very personal. Artie was at his best, despite some obvious difficulties with his voice’.
The lyrics of the Simon and Garfunkel catalogue have been an emotional support to Ellis, from some difficult times at home as a young child, throughout the highs and lows of adulthood including the enormous beast that autism can be when overload causes the inevitable meltdowns. Scarborough Fair is for Ellis the ultimate ‘calm down’ song. It was in writing a piece for the Facebook Group about the meaning of these lyrics for him, the idea of the book came about and ‘Reflections of Simon and Garfunkel’ was born. The book should be ready for publication later this year, having been commissioned by a publisher late last year.
About last week’s interview where Garfunkel was less than complimentary about his former partner Simon, Ellis said ‘lifelong fans are very aware of the past difficulties that both have encountered over the years. Artie has always demonstrated a dignified silence in public to most of the issues between him and Paul, so I was taken back by Artie’s deeply personal comments. Although I respect Artie for speaking about difficult past times with Paul, lifelong fans feel the pain and hurt themselves too. I have been affected by the comments that Artie has made, but nevertheless I have deep respect and love for him’.
About Garfunkel’s 2015 tour, to include The Royal Albert Hall in September Ellis said: ‘as always when I hear that Artie is back in the UK performing, I rush to the front of the queue to obtain tickets for my wife and I to attend. Growing older alongside Artie by way of attending these performances is personal to me. Artie’s music has been with me since my violent childhood upbringing in the run down tenements of East London in the ‘60s to the present day. I always leave these concerts on a high and another memory is planted to remain for years to come. I wouldn’t miss it for the world’.
Joe Ellis is a full time professional senior karate instructor of international repute and holds a 7th Dan Black Belt.
You can contact Joe Ellis on 01227 370055 or 07976 736404 or via email email@example.com
Simon and Garfunkel UK Facebook Group can be accessed direct via https://www.facebook.com/groups/simonandgarfunkeluk/ or via the UK website http://simonandgarfunkeluk.com/
Company Name: Simon & Garfunkel UK
Contact Person: Joe Ellis
Phone: 00 44 1227 370055
Address:PO Box 262
City: Herne Bay
Country: United Kingdom