*Paul Simon: The Life*

In 1974, near the peak of his fame, Paul Simon started taking music lessons.

The melody of “American Tune,” my favorite Paul Simon song, is taken from a Bach chorale from St. Matthew’s Passion.

Paul Simon originally was to have played guitar on “Rock Island Line” for the Nilsson/Lennon Pussy Cats album, but Lennon and Simon could not get along with each other and Lennon kept on putting his hand on Simon’s guitar strings to stop him from playing, eventually causing Simon to leave.

Art Garfunkel originally was slated to be dual vocalist on the Hearts and Bones album (TC’s favorite Paul Simon creation by the way), though Simon cut out the vocal tracks that Garfunkel had recorded.

Around 2012 Simon developed a strong interest in the music of American “hobo composer” Harry Partch.

Those are from the new Paul Simon biography by Robert Hilburn.



To be frank, it is more than I wanted to know about Mr. Simon. Maybe there should be some kind of "Read More" buttom, so that people who are very interested in Mr. Simon would click to read it all and people who are just mildly interested would just have read one or two facts. I mean, it is an economics blog. Do I really need five paragraphs about Mr. Simon?

thiago, u r a whining, piece of crap -- brazil has so many qualities; exhibit some

a big, walked into, the room

chrissy told me, 4 o'clock, expect train

lil, ck sks, i live 'n garden of eden, always have, always will

I have lots of qualities.

exhibit some, we have seen you do so, in the past

I only do that very discreetly.

vo . . . , lardy, woe woe woe

Brazil got a little good PR out of Paul Simon's "Rhythm of the Saints" album. After hearing this, I was convinced the man is a musical genius. I am not much moved by his other work.

Paul Simon was mentioned in the music Haiti by song-letter, singer and former Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil.

Paul Simon was mentioned in the music Haiti by song-letter, singer and former Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil.

I met Gilberto Gil when I marched with Filhos De Gandhi. He was leading the batucada playing Ijexá.

Toca zambumba que a terra e nossa!

I watched an S & G performance in a theatre a million years ago. They seemed to be more musically interesting in concert than they were on record. Is this common in pop music?

In my experience, live music is usually more interesting than recorded music. And I count "recorded live" as recorded. There's a lot more to the experience than the notes going by.

Some people think a live performance is a poor attempt to recreate the recording.

Some people think a recording is a poor attempt to recreate a live performance.

The former people are correct, and they make better music, and it is best seen live.

"As the film [The Graduate] neared completion, there was still something lacking in its music. [Mike] Nichols leaped at the chance to use a scrap of an insinuating little tune Simon had written about Eleanor Roosevelt. And so former First Lady “Mrs. Roosevelt” became drunken adulteress “Mrs. Robinson,” and “The Graduate” acquired its key musical theme.

The snatch of the song heard in Nichols’ feature is little more than a chorus, and sports only provisional lyrics; its place-holding “deet-da-dee-dee” refrain implies that it was nowhere near completion when it was recorded for the film.

Yet is is “Mrs. Robinson” that supplies headlong energy and rising suspense for the last 15 minutes of “The Graduate.” The song and its incessant, sharply played acoustic guitar chords course underneath Benjamin’s frenetic drive in his little red Alfa Romeo, from Berkeley to Southern California, back to Berkeley and down to Santa Barbara, as he madly pursues Elaine Robinson, on her way to the altar with another man.

In an inspired mating of music and image, “Mrs. Robinson” slows to a crawl and stops as Benjamin’s sports car runs out of gas as he nears the church where Elaine is to be married. In the film’s last frames, the reunited couple contemplates their uncertain future in the back of a municipal bus, to a reprise of “The Sound of Silence.”'


The Graduate was an enormous influence on people my age. Here is an essay on the film and how, even though the film (released in 1968) never mentions the war raging in Vietnam, is all about that war and "a warning about an older generation’s seduction of youth": https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/21/opinion/graduate-vietnam-movie.html

u r just babbling, small hands finally stfu, early afternoon, may, spring day, circa 2018 -- whenever the f that was

proven you ;mettle, over the years, judy just a break

One word: plastics.

One word: thegraduateisoverratedanditbasicallysucks.

It was before my time but I can still recall all the words to the song...to most of their songs. My dad bought all their albums.

Plus, we know a lot about Cali geography and climate from pop culture. What is "California" for todays kids?

good theater: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0J2tH7cADE


el paso, with pictuahs : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-y3DB0wLh4

"Hearts and Bones" is a terrific album, and I'd argue that the title track is Simon's finest song. And the bridge is, perhaps, his finest moment as a vocalist - a talent of Simon's that often goes under-appreciated, I think.

At the risk of being pedantic, I just quickly want to mention that the thing mentioned by Tyler in his 2nd paragraph happened *before* the thing mentioned in his 1st paragraph.

This is to say that Paul Simon drew from J.S. Bach's _St. Matthew's Passion_ for the melody of "American Tune" back in late 1972, *before* he started taking formal music lessons. (The perhaps slightly exaggerated story of "American Tune" is that Simon wrote it pretty much in the immediate hours right after Nixon defeated McGovern.
In any case, the song certainly was released on an album --- namely, _Here Comes Rhyming Simon_ in 1973.) Thus, Simon being obviously enough of a Bach fan to borrow a melody from him is something that happened before Simon started taking formal music lessons in 1974.

Ooops... and now being *definitely* pedantic... I now just realized the album I always thought was entitled _Here Comes Rhymin' Simon_ was actually entitled _There Goes Rhymin' Simon_. I'm mildly, neurotically embarrassed. ;)

I'm reading it and feel somehow disappointed and genuinely confused as to whether I'm reading the wrong biography. I thought it would be more scathing.

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