The story of Paul Simon in London, 1965, Iggy, The Clash, Elton, Fleetwood Mac and an expensive disaster – the story of CBS Studios in London is the latest episode of my blog.
I love things like this. It’s so rare to see a songwriter answer the question “how did you write this?” without resorting to slightly hostile grunts (largely because, you suspect, they either haven’t the faintest idea how they did it and don’t have the language to describe it, or else are a bit embarrassed by some of the stimuli: “actually, I’d just done a poo and was reading the Dandy, and the combination of the two made me think…”)
But this is Paul Simon, and if ever a man knew exactly what he was doing, and how and why he was doing it, it’s old Chuckles McFrivolous.
Credit where it’s due: got this from Helen Lewis’s unmissable Friday newsletter, The Bluestocking (link in comments).
It’s a complete shitstorm. Our health, our jobs and livelihood, our way of life – it’s all being blown to the winds, at least temporarily and maybe longer and more terminally. And the sheer uncertainty of what’s coming next is exhausting.
In times like this, music can help. I put an old playlist of favourite songs on shuffle today, and this came up first. It’s brilliant, of course. Paul Simon’s bittersweet melody and typically economic lyrics; his beautifully phrased vocals; the arrangement, Michael Brecker’s sax break.
And, yes it worked. I felt just a little bit buoyed up. Partly because it’s a comfort blanket – I’ve known and loved this song and the album it’s from since it came out and it’s seen me through some good times. And partly because all the time there are people on the planet who have the creativity and skill to make something like this, you have to think we still have a fighting chance.
If you’d like to post some examples of music that you turn to at times like this, please be my guest. God knows, we’re going to need all the help we can get.
Long time lurker, first time poster klaxon!
I co-run a monthly vinyl appreciation event in Nottingham. We’ve been going for almost a year now but our next event on March 8th is the first in our new home of the Lord Roberts pub on Broad Street in Nottingham city centre. If you know Nottingham the pub is situated near Rough Trade Records and the Broadway cinema in the Hockley area of the city. Admission is completely free and everyone is welcome. Our featured LP will be Paul Simon’s Graceland.
In April we’ll be celebrating forty years of 1980 when our featured album is David Bowie’s Scary Monsters which will tie us in to our first anniversary as the featured LP at session 1 was Hunky Dory.
We welcome people from 2pm downstairs in the Prohibition Bar. It would be great to finally meet some AWers. There’s a link here with more detail, to the event page on Faceberk.
Another farewell tour kicks off. Pretty good run though, hope he’s well. Don’t suppose we’ll be seeing him at the Aspidistra and Hatstand any time soon.
Paul Simon, James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt were announced today as closing this year’s British Summertime run of gigs in London’s Hyde Park. I have seen Bonnie and James (and his wonderful All Star Band, including Jimmy Johnson, Michael Landau and Steve Gadd) many times. I have spent time with Bonnie’s fantastic guitar player, George Marinelli, and been invited backstage by him. Trust me, these people are amongst my favourite musicians on the planet. And they give great show.
So, why does the thought of this gig fill me with dread?
No, it’s not Paul Simon’s name sitting atop the bill. I’ve never seen him live and only own a double Greatest Hits collection, but I have nothing against him, and even feel that, given the chance, and the fact that he is playing just an hour from my house, I should go see him, before it’s too late.
No, that’s not it.
It’s Hyde Park. It’s standing. All fucking day. In the (possible) sun. It’s paying a week’s holiday’s worth of cash for a ticket on The Terrace, better toilets, a decent view and shade. It’s the 10.30pm finishing time, on a Sunday, when I’ll be lucky to be » Continue Reading.
who wants to ask if you weren’t a musician what would you have done.”
Never saw this before last night and have never seen Paul Simon so genuinely delighted
Today sees the release of new albums from The Monkees, Paul Simon & Dexys. In the pre-streaming/on-demand age, this would have sent me to a record shop to pick up those albums on the day they came out. Today I have “Saved” those records into my Spotify, but I really only feel compelled to pick up a copy of The Monkees. For the last Dexys album, which I thought was really great, I have never bought a physical copy.
So who are your “Day One” artists? Who’s new release do you still want to hear as soon as it comes out? Do you still need to buy a physical copy or has that tradition fallen away…
Paul Simon – “Wristband”
This is just brilliant IMHO. Paul Simon keeps getting better and better, and as we’ve often discussed here, not many of his generation do. Randy Newman (c’mon Randy where’s that new album?), Tom Waits, and depending on which university you went to maybe Bob Dylan, even Paul McCartney. And others.
But to my ears this is just great, and I’m basically a music not words person. It’s kind of a one chord old white man rap. The lyrics are brilliant, witty, clever and the musicians get a great feel happening. The bass player especially is wonderful.
Here’s a companion thread to Ruby’s eulogy to Simon and Garfunkel, where Paul Simon is quite rightly being praised as one of the great songwriters of our time.
Bridge over Troubled Water has been covered to death: anyone got a favourite version?
But what other Simon covers are there?
The great man must have been quite pleased to have the Kit doing a fine version of America for him when he received (to my mind rather ridiculous) Polar Prize.
More please. Reggae, metal, lounge, salsa: All genres welcome!
I was thinking about the great ‘songs of quiet reflection’ thread and listening to the associated playlist. ‘Song for the Asking’ was mentioned by the OP and it reminded me of how great S&G are.
I get the sense that people are generally quite sniffy about them? (not here, particularly).
Anyway, as well as ‘Song for the Asking’, I love:
‘Old Friends/Bookends’ ‘For Emily, whenever I may find her’ ‘America’ ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’
Some of these may be PS solo; I am easily confused.
In the comments on David’s ‘two first names’ blog we’re reminded of Owen Paul, whom many of us will have forgotten, and Paul Simon, whom we won’t. This got my I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue brain going, and coming up with the Owen Paul Simon collaboration My Favourite Ways to Leave Your Lover.
In the song with the above title Paul Simon claims there are 50 ways to leave your lover but he lists only 5. So what are the rest?
6. Kick them to the kerb , Herb