News & Politics

15-year-old Janis Ian, and a Simon and Garfunkel Concert


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

February 2, 1967, Vol. XII, No. 16

Pop Eye

By Richard Goldstein

…Janis Ian makes all kinds of predictions seem reasonable with her new single, “Janie’s Blues.” It’s a stunningly produced (by Shadow Morton) ballad about an unwanted child, a mistake “on the day after Lent” who floats unspeaking through a marriage held together for social reasons: the bourgeois atrocity. Janis Ian’s treatment is graphic and evocative. Like the protagonist of “Society’s Child” (an earlier composition), Janie is trapped and defeated utterly by her circumstances. She is offered no hope for relief by the narrator, only sympathy.

At 15, Janis Ian is fast becoming the Thomas Hardy of rock ‘n’ roll.

Simon and Garfunkel at Philharmonic Hall:

It was a fine concert.

They were both nervous at first, but realized soon enough that the audience fully intended to be impressed. And were.

Surprise of the evening was Paul Simons’ stunning guitar solo. Dullest number was “Benedictus,” which retained a studied cathedrality but never grew.

The lighting was atrocious, throwing out red and purple glareglow during passionate moments and a grey half-light during “Cloudy.” There’s something suspect about all those epiphanies conveyed in the formica heart of Lincoln Center.

Art Garfunkel got a haircut. His encore-solo on “For Emily…” was stunning. This song, unlike the bulk of P. Simon’s work, embraces a real and ecstatic love. And it works.

A couple of people shouted for “Hey School Girl,” which the pair recorded under the early alias Tom and Jerry. Paul Simon just smiled and launched into “The Sound of Silence”…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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