Paul Simon hangs it up, gives last concert in Queens

It’s hard to believe that Paul Simon is nearly 77, for I remember him when he was just a sprout—though an immensely talented one.  But he just gave the last concert on his last tour, saying that he wants to spend more time with his family. (He hasn’t ruled out future appearances in what he calls “a [hopefully] acoustically pristine hall.”) And I was a big fan, though I didn’t like a lot of the music he produced after parting with Garfunkel in the early 1970s. That will make me an outlier, as many people think that Graceland is one of his best albums, and that songs like “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” are masterpieces (confession: I despise that song).

But here are ten eleven of Simon’s songs I really loved; and they were all done when he was with Garfunkel:

Old Friends
The Sounds of Silence
America
Homeward Bound
I Am A Rock
The Boxer
The Dangling Conversation
Bridge Over Troubled Water
A Hazy Shade of Winter
For Emily, Whenever I Might Find Her
Kathy’s Song

The man was a musical and lyrical genius; of that there’s no doubt.

Rolling Stone gives the list of songs he played at the last concert, and reports on how it went:

 But instead of turning it into an evening of sad reflection about the cruel passage of time, Simon – just a few weeks away from his 77th birthday – turned it into a party in the park where complete strangers could groove together to “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” harmonize on the “lie la lie” chorus of “The Boxer” and jump up and down while screaming out every word to “You Can Call Me Al.” At almost no point in the night did Simon even hint at the fact that it was the end of his last tour, even if his eyes looked a little misty near the end of “Homeward Bound.”

Like every show on this tour, it began with a rearranged rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “America.” It’s a durable song that has managed to work in everything from David Bowie’s set at the post-9/11 Concert For New York City to a 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign commercial. And now in the Trump era, the “empty and aching” kid on the bus seemed to be speaking for many Americans. The president’s name was never uttered, but after a haunting “American Tune” near the end of the night Simon said, “Strange times, huh? Don’t…Give…Up.”

“America” went right into “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “The Boy in the Bubble” and “Dazzling Blue” from his 2011 overlooked triumph So Beautiful or So What. It set the stage for an evening where he toggled between his greatest hits and album cuts only familiar to the true devotees. “Most of these songs that I’m going to play tonight I think you’ll be familiar with, maybe a few you’ll be less so,” he said early on. “But the rhythm tunes are all written with the idea you’ll get up and dance.”

They certainly did dance, especially when he kicked into the opening chords of “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” and everyone had the unique chance to sing about “Rosie the Queen of Corona” in Corona. His wife Edie Brickell even came out to deliver the famous whistle solo with impressive skill. The mood then quieted down when the chamber ensemble yMusic came to the front of the stage to accompany Simon on “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War,” a fantastically obscure Hearts and Bones song that he’s resurrected on his new album In the Blue Light. That album was a commercial dud in 1983, but time has been very kind to it.

Here’s a news report on Simon’s last concert:

And what I think may be Simon’s best song, performed live at their Central Park concert:

93 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Simon without Garfunkel is like Medley without Hatfield.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      That’s righteous, brother.

      (Somebody saying that to them after a set was how they got their name.)

  2. Kiwi Dave
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    To my entirely untutored ear, one of Simon’s greatest songs, which has withstood repeated playing, is the extremely simple but moving Peace Like a River.

  3. Joe Dickinson
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Bridge Over Troubled Waters is our all time favorite. Our kids loved “dancing” to it when about 2 & 4.

    • Historian
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Bridge Over Troubled Water is also may all time favorite. I’ve watched Garfunkel’s rendition at the Concert in Central Park from 1981 about 25 times. No cover version comes close. It is a song of consolation when times are bad, whether personally or nationally (such as now).

      Apparently, Simon and Garfunkel are now on the “outs” as they have been for much of the last 50 years. It’s too bad. I would love to see them together one last time.

      • Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I agree, that’s the best version!

      • Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Here it is:

      • Posted September 24, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        That’s a brilliant version. The one that always gets me is the 2009 version they sung together in Madison Square Garden…the last few minutes…whew

        • Diane G
          Posted September 30, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          I’m not crying, you’re crying.

          Some of Paul’s piano pantomiming reminded me of Joe Cocker’s signature gesturing.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t been able to stand “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” since my college girlfriend told me her high-school boyfriend had calligraphied and framed the lyrics and given them to her as a gift. 🙂

      Memories like that are one of the great things about Simon & Garfunkel, am I right?

      (I’ve got similar feelings, for similar reasons, about a certain Khalil Gibran book, but they pertain to another college girlfriend.)

    • Joe Dickinson
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I forgot to mention that I was in a Paul Simon concert in Salt Lake City, with my daughter, the night Desert Storm started. A bit of a cognitive disconnect.

    • Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I agree. There are certain songs that are so good that it’s hard to imagine that they were written by someone rather than that they’ve always been there. “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” is such a song. Others I might cite would include “Mr. Bojangles,” “The City of New Orleans,” and “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down.”

      Does anyone else get what I’m talking about here?

      • freiner
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes! I recall hearing an interview in which Simon himself said he had a “where did that come from?” reaction to his own writing of Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Jerry Jeff, Stevie Goodman, and Robbie — yeah, I see a songwriting through line there.

    • Posted October 21, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Mine also.

  4. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    My very first pop concert ever was Simon and Garfunkel. (The first album I ever owned was Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper). It was sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania which was remarkably successful in pre-Internet days about publicizing it to only the staff and students of U of P and not making the broader public aware of it. It was 4 months after “The Graduate” came out, so of course they opened with “Mrs. Robinson”.

    I didn’t care much for Simon’s solo work, until “Graceland” which I liked a lot, though I share JAC’s dislike (moderate in my case) of “50 ways”.

    Interpreters of comedy distinguish between affectionate parody and disparaging parody. (I’m not a huge fan of the “Austin Powers” film, but they are the quintessential example of affectionate parody, as is the Bugs Bunny Richard Wagner parody “What’s Opera, Doc?”

    Here is a magnificent affectionate parody of Simon and Garfunkel.

  5. Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the music, Paul Simon.

  6. GBJames
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I agree about “The Boxer”. But there are a lot of other extremely great songs, too.

  7. Frank
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    ‘Hearts and Bones’ is a wonderful album. The title track and ‘Train in the Distance’ stand alongside any of his solo songs. Both full of longing,
    he’s simply a genius songwriter.

    ‘What is the point of the story ? What information pertains ? The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains….’

  8. freiner
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been so Simonized for decades that I’m in danger of spouting off. Of the S & G years, I’m particularly strong on “America,” “Bridge…,’ “The Boxer,” and “Dangling Conversation” as well as others I’ll later probably kick myself for not naming.
    I do find myself more attracted to the stronger portions of his later work, though: e.g., “Hearts and Bones” (both song and for the most part, album), “Graceland” (the song), much of the album “You’re the One” etc. Throughout, however, I have to overlook what I find to be the embarrassing clinkers (e,g., “Cars are Cars” or — for me, too — “50 Ways”).
    To make up for the clinkers, though, I find a number of little-heard album songs particularly appealing: “Overs,” “So Long Frank Lloyd Wright,” “Rene and Georgette …” or the above mentioned “Peace Like a River.”
    Okay, I’m spouting off. Back to work.

  9. Liz
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I love Paul Simon and have too many favorites. I saw him in concert with Bob Dylan in 1999 at Jones Beach. So many good ones…

    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Late in the Evening
    Scarborough Fair
    America
    El Condor Pasa
    The Sound of Silence
    The 59th Street Bridge Song
    Loves Me Like a Rock
    Kodachrome
    Learn How to Fall
    I Am a Rock
    You Can Call Me Al
    Crazy Love
    The Boxer

    • Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      All excellent selections!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      You’re trying to seduce me with that playlist, Mrs. Robinson. Aren’t you?

      I was never as keen on the ballads as I was on the uptempo stuff like “Kodachrome” or “Call me Al” — or “Cecelia” or “Me and Julio.”

      • Merilee
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Call me smarmy, but I love their ballads, Bridge, Emily, et al😍 Agree on the Central Park concert.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        “Me and Julio”…

        Lyricists seem to be granted a blatant pronoun error when it benefits a rhyme. I love the song, but I can never get over the pronoun deal…it’s my problem, not Simon’s. Steven Pinker says “when the pronoun is buried inside a coordination phrase, writers are apt to lose sight of the governor and give the pronoun a different case. Thus in casual speech it’s common for people to say Me and Julio were down by the schoolyard.” After a lot more detail on the subject in his book The Sense of Style, I think he’s saying it’s ok in casual speech (or at least excusable), but I’m not sure.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          “Seein’ me and Julio down by the school yard” [further down in the song] is fine isn’t it from the subject/object POV? Unless you’re worried about the politeness aspect of listing yourself first why care?

          I don’t care about listing myself last as per convention & I think the convention is crumbling anyway – there’s no confusion, no loss of information in any ordering. If it rolls out rhythmically & rhymingly better I would fearlessly stick “me” in the middle of a list of names. Horrors! 🙂

          “Me & thee” is better than “thee & me” in those romantic situations where that turn of phrase is used don’t cha think?

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            Agree with every word. I’m just an English major pedantic gripe at this point…with some Pinker quotes. I didn’t think I’d get so many responses to my gripe, but I enjoyed the input…or is it output?

            • rickflick
              Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

              In the rarefied grammatical circle I inhabit, just “put” will do nicely.

              • Mark R.
                Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

                I am dully ‘put’ in my place. Monday night football got me drinking brews, and so it ends in dumbness on WEIT. Good game though!

              • rickflick
                Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:21 am | Permalink

                Hoo 1?

              • Mark R.
                Posted September 25, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

                Steelers

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

              I had a hiccup in my early 20s – an explosive concussion. I had to relearn some stuff. I had as wide a vocabulary as before, but with the weirdest gaps that weren’t evident as gaps to me until the critical moment of formulating a spoken or written communication. I’d look at an object for which I had full knowledge as to it’s use, how it’s manufactured etc, but I no longer had a name for it. I was told it was the same symptoms as a mild stroke in some area of the brain. I relearned all the words over time, but in the interim it was fun coming up with a name for a thing bodged together from words I knew. Not in the German way of stringing words together – but in a more poetic way of grabbing the notion of similar objects & smushing their labels together to make a new one that made sense to me.

              I still like to make words up for fun if the mood strikes.

              Because of that I no longer respect the particulars of grammar or punctuation – aim for clarity & a bit of poetry – all the rest is hidebound nonsense. Blue for example has her way & it’s cool to comm in a new way.

          • Merilee
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            As long as you eschew “myself”🤓

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

              I love “eschew” – I don’t think I’ve ever used that word in all my life. It’s definitely a Python woody word [is it in the sketch? Is that why I like it so much?]. Anyway I’m gonna polish “eschew” & put it close by for rapid deployment at appropriate moments. 🙂

              The use of “myself” & “me” I kind of get, but I can’t find it in me to care about the formal usage. I’m just a slob.

              • Merilee
                Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

                “Myself” just sounds pretentious to me.
                At all costs eschew obfuscation, fyi😬

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

                Withnail & me agree with thee Merilee

              • Merilee
                Posted September 25, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

                Where would we be without Withnail⁉️

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          It’s enallage, Mark, a rhetorical device to be found in the works of not only Paul Simon, but also Bob Dylan, Cole Porter, William Shakespeare, and pert-near every other lyrical writer of poetry or prose.

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the new word Ken. Mr. Thesaurus that you are. Either way, the old English teacher that has somehow manifested itself in me says…I don’t like it. Dumb on my part, I know. Plus, Mr. Shakespeare should never be used to prove a grammatical point.

            • Mark R.
              Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

              I reread this after my flurry of responses and it sounded a bit curt and rude. Sorry about that…and my authority over Shakespeare thinking was a dumb quip.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 25, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

                No worries; I took no offense.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

              I’d never look to the Bard for grammar lessons, but I certainly would when it comes to turning a figure of speech.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          Ummm… Mark, I think you were never, in fact, down by the schoolyard. Where the hell did you grow up? 😎

          • Mark R.
            Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

            Homeschooled…just kidding.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

              Probly spoke good Inglish.

          • Diane G
            Posted September 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Lol!

            I always cringed at Jim Morrison’s, “If they say I never loved you, you know they are a liar.” Who knew he was just so ahead of the curve with the singular “they?”

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

              Is it a singular “they” Diane? How do you know that? Replacing “they” with “those people” works grammatically so why can’t he be using “they” as plural? I’m a grammoron so explain simply! 🙂

              Side note of no relevance. The “L.A. Woman” Jimbo is singing of is L.A. herself – L.A. as a woman.

              L.A. WOMAN [middle section]

              Drive through your suburbs
              Into your blues, into your blues, yeah
              Into your blue-blue blues
              Into your blues, oh, yeah

              I see your hair is burnin’
              Hills are filled with fire
              If they say I never loved you
              You know they are a liar

              Drivin’ down your freeway
              Midnight alleys roam
              Cops in cars
              The topless bars
              Never saw a woman so alone, so alone
              So alone, so alone

              • Merilee
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

                But then it should be “they are liarS”…
                Morrison had another grammar doozy:
                “Till the stars fall from the sky
                For you and I”. Loved some of his songs anyway.

              • Diane G
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

                “You know those people are a liar” works? If you say so. 😉

                Just joking about the singular they–pretty sure that lyric was solely for the scansion.

                Merilee–yeah, that one always got me, too! 😀 Still loved the early Doors. People are strange.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

                I understand your point now. Thanks

              • Diane G
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

                Hope I didn’t offend you!

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted September 30, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

                No, not at all dear

      • Liz
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        @Ken I know you’re kidding but actually, as a side note, I met someone back in May. So far so good so wish me luck : )

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Good luck Liz!

        • Diane G
          Posted October 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Good luck, Liz!

          (Your comment induced a happy smile, and, then, the realization of how much of a community we really are, even if it’s all electronic.)

          • Liz
            Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            : ) Thank you, Diane.

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Jerry’s The Boxer video above [from the 1981 concert in Central Park, NYC] has a rarely performed extra verse not present on Bridge over Troubled Water & it’s rather appropriate now for Simons’ retirement:

    Now the years are rolling by me —
    They are rockin’ evenly.
    I am older than I once was,
    And younger than I’ll be.
    That’s not unusual;
    No, it isn’t strange:
    After changes upon changes
    We are more or less the same;
    After changes we are more or less the same

    A beautiful, poignant song.

    A negative note. The NYC concert backing musicians – a travesty. They sound like they’re castoffs from a cruise ship resident backing band – musically broken from accompanying Crystal Gayle’s country hits once too often.

    • Liz
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I love this verse. Especially, “After changes upon changes
      We are more or less the same;
      After changes we are more or less the same.”

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        S’true innit 🙂

        • Liz
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          : )

    • freiner
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      I saw Simon in concert at Kent State on what was probably one of his first, if not the first, tour post-Garfunkel. He sang the Boxer and threw in that verse — probably the first time most people at the venue had heard it. The effect was at once electric and chilling. What on earth was that? I remember somebody near me desperately trying to write the new verse down. He should have just waited for this posting.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        You might enjoy this report of the show freiner which doesn’t mention the show particularly – I grabbed it from a pdf at the university. It might refresh your memories. I bet the author, Jan Clark, didn’t end up in the media though: Daily Kent Stater, Volume XVIII, Number 17, 24 October 1973

        By Jan Clark

        Saturday was just one of those days for Paul Simon when he appeared for the Homecoming concert in Memorial Gym. Even rock stars have bad days, especially when their playing fingernail breaks the morning before a concert. Simon said “it would take a month before the nail grows back” to where he can play without a pick. Not only was Simon’s playing finger malfunctioning, but his left hand was acting up as well. Before the concert he explained that he has visited acupuncture specialists twice in order to relieve a nervous disorder from playing the guitar too much. “You have to go a few times before acupuncture can be effective,” he said.

        A bad arm didn’t stop a favorable audience response to Simon’s performance, according to Michael Solomon, the concert organizer. He said there were three curtain calls for Simon and the crowd “still wanted more.” Other things were also going wrong for the Simon tour group. Simon explained that the sound equipment first went to Canton instead of Kent and then the truck broke down on its way here. Therefore, rehearsal for Simon was four hours behind schedule and even then “it didn’t sound right,” Simon said. It was Paul Simon’s brother, Ed, who encouraged Paul not to worry about the day’s mishaps. “My brother Ed is my favorite person in the world,” Paul said. Ed, who looks a great deal like his brother, travels with Paul when he can get away from his music school in New York.

        After the concert, Ed explained that Paul first composes the music and then sets the lyrics “to the mood of the music.” The original words to “Kodachrome,” one of Simon’s latest hits, were “going home,” but Paul “didn’t want to write another song about going home,” Ed explained. After Paul “played around with word arrangements” similar to “going home,” Ed said Paul came up with the word kodachrome. According to Ed, the next step in creating “Kodachrome” was that Paul associated kodachrome color film as an opposite to black and white film. Paul then further linked the brightness and distortedness of color film as a contrast to the “reality of black and white film,” Ed said. Speaking for himself, Paul said, “No one taught me how to write lyrics. I just sort of experimented and taught myself.” “Any time I can sit quietly somewhere and I can think ~ I can create,” Paul said. Commenting further on songwriting, Paul said, “Whether a song is technically good or bad doesn’t matter.” He explained there is “some sort of quality that makes a song good that can’t be described.” “I don’t have any economic drive to produce albums,” he insisted. He said the production of albums is based on “when I feel like making them.” Simon also said he doesn’t have a philosophy as a performer. “I perform because I’m a ham,” he remarked with a smile. “Almost never are my songs about myself. Maybe generally about me, but never specifically about me,” Simon said.

        Simon told students, “No one has to say a message in a song people can read the important messages.” However, Simon did explain that the song “Like a Rock” was “about people who abuse power – like the Nixon people.” Simon predicted that his music “will become more up-tempo than it ever was with Art Garfunkel. “I’d really like to put out a live album of the show done at Kent,” Simon added. After the concert at Kent, Simon was approached by a student who wished to pray for him. Simon replied, “Do what you’ve got to do, but I’ve got a lot of people praying for me. When I’m ready I’ll ask for Him myself.” According to Simon, “Campuses look the way they always have – I see hardly any changes”

        • freiner
          Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Holy cow! Thanks, though it seems spooky to know my whereabouts of so long ago can be pinned done so quickly. I do remember Simon had a problem at one point with a broken string — could it be related with his using a pick rather than his ailing finger? More investigation is needed.
          I can assure you, however, I was NOT the person who offered to pray for him.
          Again, thanks for the memories (but that’s somebody else’s song).

        • Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for sharing this.I’ve always loved Paul Simon, but was never able to afford to attend one of his concerts. And, thank you Paul Simon.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      In the interest of verisimilitude, I’d just like to point out there weren’t actually any whores on Seventh Avenue, even those days.

      A friend tells me they were on 42nd Street, closer to Eighth. 🙂

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        LOL. Some woman stopped him on the street & told him how much she enjoyed his music & she’d sing them to her young son. She apologised to Simon for changing “whore” to “toy store” in her cleaned up family version – Simon reckoned it was an improvement.

  11. AC Harper
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I have a confession – I like most songs for the music and rhythm but struggle with hearing the lyrics. Is there such a thing as dis-lyrical?

    However I have no trouble with the lyrics sung by Paul Simon (or together with Art Garfunkle). So, thank you.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    PS’s tune “Wristband” offa his 2016 album Stranger to Stranger has had a special place in my heart ever since, little over a year ago, I ended up in a hurricane shelter. After they handed out wristbands, I fired up that tune on my laptop and got the whole damn shelter singing it through the storm.

    • GBJames
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Ken! I’ve never heard that. I like it.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Good stuff. THAT’S a band.

  13. mfdempsey1946
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I remember how “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” became a popular song for children to sing.

    On one occasion, I was riding in a car with a five-year-old boy when this song began playing on the radio.

    He immediately started singing along, not understanding the lyrics but happily grooving along with their rhythm, rhymes and wordplay.

    • Terry Sheldon
      Posted September 25, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I hesitate to share this memory, but what the hell. I have a vivid recollection of an “anyone can play” game scrawled on the wall of a men’s room stall at college in the 70s. Its title: “Fifty Ways to Love Your Lever”.

  14. Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Always loved PS and S&G. But I also love Graceland.

  15. Posted September 24, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I prefer his stuff with Garfunkel too, but one solo piece I love, being the father of a duaghter, is Father and Daughter. It may be from the Wild Thornberries movie, but it brings a tear to my eye.

    https://tinyurl.com/k23fvzp

  16. rickflick
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I was very sad when the two of them split. Here they are back together again in 2009:
    \
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-JQ1q-13Ek

  17. Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the lift, Jerry! That is my go-to concert recording when I’m particularly low and blue. I’ve got the whole concert saved on PVR, and play it for the young visitors to the house, whenever I can corral them. I’d say to them, “THIS is what music was like back in the olden days! THIS is what we grew up on.” I love all the songs, and like Jerry, especially the ones done as a duet.

    • Posted September 24, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      (I’m referring to the Central Park concert.)

  18. Posted September 24, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    One of the best things I ever saw Paul Simon do was a joint appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1993:

    Willie sings Graceland with Paul on backup.

    Collab on Willie’s Still is Still Moving to Me.

    What can I say? I like collaborations. That’s why I linked to the Devo/Neil Young two Sundays ago.

  19. phil
    Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Time it was
    And what a time it was
    It was…
    A time of innocence
    A time of confidences
    Long ago, it must be
    I have a photograph
    Preserve your memories
    They’re all that’s left you

    • rickflick
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Rings true.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      +1

  20. Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I’ve only ever heard The Sound of Silence. I should probably listen to the others too.

    -Ryan

    • phil
      Posted September 26, 2018 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      OMG! I nearly fell off the chair. Yes you bloody well should!

      You should start at bookends and go to at least Bridge Over Troubled Water. You probably have heard a lot of the tunes already, like Mrs Robinson, A Hazy Shade of Winter, El Condor Pasa, The Boxer, and BOTW of course. Get a decent copy because the arrangements and engineering are great too.

      There is also a little known album from Garfunkel called Angel Clare which has some nice tunes, Roy Halee in the back room, and Simon on at least one track. Plus a lot of other well known session musos.

  21. Conelrad
    Posted September 25, 2018 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to mention Roy Halee, who produced those early albums when it was still S & G. I especially liked the wonderful bit at the end of ‘Baby Driver’, when the music changes key & speeds up to match the sound of the engine as the driver shifts gears.

    • phil
      Posted September 26, 2018 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Been Roy Haleed and Art Garfunkeled
      I just discovered somebody’s tapped my phone

      Folk rock
      I’ve lost my harmonica, Albert

      Yeah, I think (like Jimi) the music owes a lot to the studio work.

  22. Terry Sheldon
    Posted September 25, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I had the honor of attending his concert in Pittsburgh last week. An incredibly moving experience. I loved how he prefaced “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by referring to it as “a song I gave away, but now I’m taking it back”. I wasn’t sure until I read the excerpt from the review above that “America” was the opening song for all the shows on the tour. It had occurred to me at the time that he might have chosen that song for the Pittsburgh crowd which, predictably, went bonkers on the line “‘Kathy’, I said as we boarded the Greyhound in Pittsburgh…”. Simon was in fine voice, especially for someone of his vintage, and with all due respect to Mr. Fisher in his comment above, I thought that the backup band was incredibly tight and an asset to the performance.

    • Historian
      Posted September 25, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      I have read reports (which may or may not be true) that Simon resented all the credit that Garfunkel got for Bridge Over Troubled Water, although he wrote it, and this was a cause of their estrangement. If this is true, Garfunkel can’t be blamed for public misconceptions. In recent interviews with Garfunkel, I got the impression that he would be open to a reunion, but that Simon is not.

      • Terry Sheldon
        Posted September 25, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        BOTW may have been a contributing factor in the breakup, but my friend (with whom I attended the concert and who knows a great deal more about Simon than I do) places blame for the breakup squarely on Simon’s desire to explore different genres of music versus Garfunkel’s desire to keep going in the same vein that got them where they were.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi Terry. For one thing it’s the particular tone of that 80s electric piano that got to me up here in 2018 – it’s on a lot of bad disco & R&B records. Hence the Crystal Gayle reference.

      As much a red blood moment as the 80’s percussion hand clap that infected every disco, funk & R&B song – all down to the invention of the handclap-emulating device: the Simmonds Clap-Trap. Then the Clap-Trap went mainstream: Phil Collins, Robert Palmer, Robert Solo going pop etc.

      Cruise ship backing. Sorry.

    • Diane G
      Posted September 30, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      When they played in Grand Rapids a decade or two ago the entire audience was waiting for, “”Michigan seems like a dream to me now…
      It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw…”

      🙂

  23. ladyatheist
    Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I saw the title of this post, “Still Crazy After All These Years” started going through my mind! “But I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. Still crazy after all these years….. Yeah… still crazy….still cra-a-azy… Still crazy after all these years.”

    • ladyatheist
      Posted September 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      … with famous jazz Saxophone player Michael Brecker wailing at the break.


%d bloggers like this: