Pete Richards talks Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years

Ahead of a one-night-only event at The Star Gold Coast, we spoke to Pete Richards from Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years about what audiences can expect from the captivating tribute show.

Pete Richards playing guitar
Pete Richards

The Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years tribute show has been hailed by critics around the world thanks to the combined talents of Pete Richards and Dan Haynes, two UK-based musicians known collectively as Bookends. This year, they are touring Australia for the first time, stopping at major cities including Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Not only does their show pay tribute to the songs of Simon & Garfunkel, but it also pays tribute to the band’s time in the spotlight, immersing audiences in the experience with projections of rare images, behind the scenes footage and interviews. Before they take the stage at The Star Gold Coast on 7 March, we asked one half of the show, Pete Richards, about what brought Bookends together.  

When was the first time you heard a Simon & Garfunkel song? Which song was it?

I grew up with the music of Simon & Garfunkel. My dad was a fan when he was a teenager in the ‘60s, and he had every single album from Wednesday Morning 3am to Bridge Over Troubled Water. Having always had the music around me I have no specific memory of hearing a Simon & Garfunkel song for the first time, but I always found listening to their albums incredible. Each song would just blow me away.

What do you love most about Simon & Garfunkel?

I love the blend of their voices and how they sang together with perfect diction. You can really hear this in their early live performances, and this is something we recreate in our own live shows.

Simon and Garfunkel performing
Simon and Garfunkel

What is your favourite Simon & Garfunkel song, and why?

My favourite Simon & Garfunkel song is ‘The Boxer’. I like the poetry in the lyrics and how it tells a story. It’s also a song that always goes down really well in the show – it’s a joy to perform.

How did you meet Dan Haynes, your partner in the tribute show?

Dan and I met in our first year of secondary school when we were eleven years old. We would talk mainly about music like The Beatles, Ocean Colour Scene, Coldplay and of course Simon & Garfunkel.

Simon and Garfunkel concert

What inspired you to start a tribute band?

We had been singing Simon & Garfunkel songs together since we were teenagers, but it wasn’t until we went to see Paul Simon in Birmingham in 2011 that we decided to start a Simon & Garfunkel tribute show. Our first shows were terrifying, because neither of us were particularly natural performers, but as our confidence grew, we started booking larger theatres. Now we’re on our first Australian tour, and we’ll also be touring Spain and Germany later in the year.

What do you love most about your job?

We feel very privileged to be able to travel around the world and perform our favourite artists’ songs to audiences. We also love travelling to different countries and visiting places we would never have visited had we had different jobs. 

Enjoy the Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years tribute show and dinner at The Star Gold Coast on Saturday 7 March. You can book your tickets here.