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Paul Simon

Paul Simon performing March 8, 2007
Background information
Birth name Paul Frederic Simon
Born October 13, 1941 (1941-10-13) (age 68)
Origin Newark, New Jersey,
United States
Genres Folk rock, folk-pop, rock, world
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, record producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, piano, percussion
Years active 1957–present
Labels Columbia Records, Warner Bros. Records
Associated acts Simon & Garfunkel
Notable instruments
Martin PS-2 Paul Simon

Yamaha PS Signature Models

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, known for his success beginning in 1965 as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles charts, "The Sounds of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".[1] In 1970, at the height of their popularity, the duo split, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly-acclaimed albums over the next five years.[2] In 1986 he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music that helped fuel the anti-apartheid movement.[3] Besides music, Simon directed and starred in the film One Trick Pony in 1980 and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman in 1998.[4]

Through his solo and collaborative work, Simon has earned 13 Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.[5] In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame[6] and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine.[7] Among many other honors, Simon was named the first recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2003.[8]



Early life and career

Paul Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey to Jewish Hungarian parents Bella (b. 1910, d. June 16, 2007), an elementary school teacher, and Louis Simon (b. circa 1916, d. January 17, 1995), a college professor, bassist, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims". His father had been one of the first musicians on radio, when he lived in Hungary. In 1941 his family moved to Kew Garden Hills, Queens in New York City.

Simon's musical career began at Forest Hills High School when he and his friend Art Garfunkel began singing together, occasionally performing at school dances. Their idols were the Everly Brothers, whom they imitated in their use of close two-part harmony. Simon also developed an interest in jazz, folk and blues, especially musical legends Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly.

In 1957, while in their mid-teens, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the song "Hey, Schoolgirl" under the name Tom and Jerry, given to them by their label Big Records. The single reached number forty-nine on the pop charts.

After graduating from high school, Simon attended Queens College, while Garfunkel studied at Columbia University in Manhattan. Simon was a brother in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Simon earned a degree in English literature and briefly attended Brooklyn Law School, but his real passion was rock and roll.

Between 1957 and 1964, Simon wrote, recorded, and released more than thirty songs, occasionally reuniting with Garfunkel as Tom & Jerry for some singles, including "Our Song" and "That's My Story". Most of the songs Simon recorded in the six years after 1957 were performed alone or with musicians other than Garfunkel. They were released on several minor record labels, such as Amy, Big, Hunt, King, Tribute, and Madison. He used several different pseudonyms for these recordings, including Jerry Landis, Paul Kane (from Orson Welles's film Citizen Kane) and True Taylor. Simon enjoyed some moderate success in recording a few singles as part of a group called Tico and the Triumphs, including a song called "Motorcycle" which reached No. 97 on the Billboard charts in 1962. Tico and the Triumphs released four 45s. Marty Cooper, known as Tico, sang lead on several of these releases. Bobby Susser, children's songwriter and record producer, and childhood friend of Simon's, co-produced the Tico 45s with Simon. That year, Simon reached No. 99 on the pop charts as Jerry Landis with the hit "The Lone Teen Ranger." Both chart singles were released on Amy Records.

In 1965 Simon moved to England and started touring folk clubs and coffee houses. At the first club he played, the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex, he met Kathy Chitty who became his girlfriend and inspiration for "Kathy's Song", "America" and others. He performed at Les Cousins in London and toured provincial folk clubs where he was exposed to a wide range of musical influences. In 1965 he recorded his solo LP The Paul Simon Songbook in England. During his time in the UK Simon co-wrote several songs with Bruce Woodley of the Australian pop group The Seekers including "I Wish You Could Be Here," "Cloudy", and "Red Rubber Ball"; Woodley's co-author credit was incorrectly omitted from "Cloudy" on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album. The American group The Cyrkle recorded a cover of "Red Rubber Ball", which reached number two in the US. Simon also contributed to The Seekers catalogue with "Someday One Day," which was released in March 1966, charting at around the same time as Simon and Garfunkel's Homeward Bound.

Simon & Garfunkel

In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executive Clive Davis was impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. Columbia decided that the two would be called simply "Simon & Garfunkel," a replacement for the group's previous name "Tom and Jerry." Simon claimed in 2003 that this renaming as "Simon & Garfunkel" was the first time that artists' ethnic names had been used in pop music.[9]

Simon and Garfunkel's first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was released on October 19, 1964 and comprised twelve songs in the folk vein, five of them written by Simon. The album initially flopped, but East Coast radio stations began receiving requests for one of the tracks, Simon's "The Sounds of Silence." Their producer, Tom Wilson, overdubbed the track with electric guitar, bass, and drums, releasing it as a single that eventually went to number one on the pop charts in the USA.

Simon had gone to England in 1965 after the initial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., pursuing a solo career. But he returned to the US to reunite with Garfunkel after "The Sounds of Silence" had started to enjoy commercial success. Together they recorded four more influential albums, Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Bookends; and the hugely successful Bridge over Troubled Water. Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of the 1967 Mike Nichols film The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). While writing "Mrs. Robinson," Simon originally toyed with the title "Mrs. Roosevelt." When Garfunkel reported this indecision over the song's name to the director, Nichols replied, "Don't be ridiculous! We're making a movie here! It's Mrs. Robinson!"[10] Simon and Garfunkel returned to England in the Fall of 1968 and did a concert appearance at Kraft Hall which was broadcast on the BBC, and also featured Paul's brother Ed sitting in on a performance of the instrumental "Anji".[11]

Simon pursued solo projects after the duo released their popular album Bridge over Troubled Water. Occasionally, he and Garfunkel did reunite, such as in 1975 for their Top Ten single "My Little Town," which Simon originally wrote for Garfunkel, claiming Garfunkel's solo output was lacking "bite." The song was included on their respective solo albums; Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years, and Garfunkel's Breakaway. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not at all autobiographical of Simon's early life in New York City.[12] In 1981, they got together again for the famous concert in Central Park, followed by a world tour and an aborted reunion album Think Too Much, which was eventually released (without Garfunkel) as Hearts and Bones. Together, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 2003, the two reunited again when they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. This reunion led to a U.S. tour—the acclaimed "Old Friends" concert series—followed by a 2004 international encore, which culminated in a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome. That final concert drew 600,000 people.[13]

1971–76: The successful early solo years

After Simon and Garfunkel split in 1970, Simon began to write and record solo material. His eponymous album Paul Simon was released in January 1972, preceded by his first experiment with world music, the Jamaican-inspired "Mother and Child Reunion", considered one of the first examples of reggae attempted by a white musician. The single was a hit, reaching both the American and British Top 5. The album was particularly well received, with critics praising the variety of styles and the confessional lyrics, reaching No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 1 on the UK and Japan. It later spawned another Top 30 hit with "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard".

Simon's next project was the pop-folk masterpiece, There Goes Rhymin' Simon, released in May 1973. It contained some of his most popular and polished recordings - the lead single, "Kodachrome", was a No. 2 hit in America, and the follow-up, the gospel-flavored "Loves Me Like a Rock" was even bigger, topping the Cashbox charts. Other songs, like the weary "American Tune" or the melancholic "Something So Right" – a tribute to Simon's first wife, Peggy – became standards in the musician's catalogue. Critical and commercial reception for this sophomore album were even stronger than for his debut. At the time, it was remarked how the songs were very fresh and unworried on the surface while they were exploring socially and politically conscious themes on a deeper level.[citation needed] The album reached No. 1 on the Cashbox album charts. As a souvenir for the tour that came next, in 1974 it was released as a live album, Live Rhymin', which was moderately successful and displayed some changes in the Simon's music style, adopting world and religious music.

Highly anticipated, Still Crazy After All These Years was his next album. Released in October 1975 and produced by Simon and Phil Ramone, it was viewed as one of his finest works, marking another departure. The mood of the album was darker, as he wrote and recorded it in the wake of his divorce. Preceded by the feel-good duet with Phoebe Snow, "Gone at Last" (a Top 25 hit) and the Simon & Garfunkel reunion track "My Little Town" (a No. 9 on Billboard), the album managed to be his only No. 1 on the Billboard charts to date, and eventually won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. With Simon in the forefront of popular music, the third single from the album, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" reached the top spot of the Billboard charts, his only single to reach No. 1 on this list. Also, in May 3, 1976, Simon put together a benefit show at Madison Square Garden to raise money for the New York Public Library. Phoebe Snow, Jimmy Cliff and the Brecker Brothers also performed. The concert produced over $30,000 for the Library.

1977–85: Lack of production and success

After three back-to-back successful studio albums, Simon became less productive during the second half of the seventies. He dabbled in various projects, including writing music for the film Shampoo (a project which was eventually scrapped) and acting (he was cast as Tony Lacey in Woody Allen's film Annie Hall). He achieved another hit in this decade, with the lead single of his 1977 compilation, Greatest Hits, Etc., "Slip Slidin' Away", reaching No. 5 in America.

In 1980 he released One Trick Pony, his debut album with Warner Bros. Records and his first in almost five years. It was paired with the motion picture of the same name, in which Simon starred. Although it produced his last Top 10 hit with the upbeat "Late in the Evening" (also a No. 1 hit on the Radio & Records American charts), the album did not sell well, in a music market dominated by disco music. Simon recorded Hearts and Bones, a polished and confessional album that was eventually viewed as one of his best works, but that marked a lull in his commercial popularity; both the album and the lead single, "Allergies", missed the American Top 40. Hearts and Bones included "The Late Great Johnny Ace", a song partly about Johnny Ace, an American R&B singer, and partly about slain Beatle John Lennon. A successful US solo tour featured Simon and his guitar, with a recording of the rhythm track and horns for "Late In The Evening."[citation needed] In January 1985 Simon lent his talent to USA for Africa and performed on the relief fundraising single "We Are the World".

1986–92: Graceland, the triumphal return

As he commented years later, Simon felt that, after the disastrous Hearts and Bones, he lost his inspiration in a point of no return, and also that his commercial fortunes were not likely to change. In this state of frustration, around late 1984, while driving his car, Simon listened to a cassette of the Boyoyo Boys' instrumental "Gumboots". Interested by the unusual sound, he wrote lyrics to the number and sang over a re-recording of the song, which became the first composition of a new musical project that became the celebrated album Graceland, an eclectic mixture of musical styles including pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, and mbaqanga. Simon felt that he had nothing to lose, and traveled to South Africa in an attempt of embracing the culture and feeling in the most comfortable environment for recording the album. Sessions in Johannesburg took place in February 1985, and overdubbing and complement recording was made in April 1986 in New York. The sessions featured many South African musicians and groups, particularly Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon also collaborated with some artists of his own culture, singing a memorable duet with Linda Ronstadt in "Under African Skies", playing with Los Lobos in "All Around the World or The Myth of the Fingerprints". Warner Bros. Records had serious doubts about releasing an album of this category to the mainstream, but when it did, in August of 1986, Graceland was praised by critics and the public and has become Simon's most successful solo album. Slowly climbing the worldwide charts, it reached #1 in many countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and peaked at #3 in the U.S. It was the second-best-selling album of 1987 there, and eventually reached a 5x Platinum certification, recognizing five million copies sold only in America. Another seven million copies were sold internationally, becoming his best-selling album. Much of the responsibility of the success of the album was in the lead single, the upbeat "You Can Call Me Al", which lyrics describe a man experiencing an identity crisis. The track featured many memorable elements – a memorable synthesizer riff, an easy whistle solo, and an unusual bass run in which the second half was a reversed recording of the first half. "You Can Call Me Al" was accompanied with a humorous video featuring actor Chevy Chase, that introduced Simon to a renewed audience throughout MTV exposure. In the end, the track reached the UK Top 5 and the U.S. Top 25. Further singles, including the title track, "The Boy in the Bubble" and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes", were not commercial hits but became radio standards and were highly praised.

At age 45, Simon was back in the forefront of introducing popular music, and he received the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year in 1987 and also Grammy Award for Record of the Year for the title track one year later. He also embarked on the very successful Graceland Tour, which was documented on music video. Simon found himself embracing new sounds, a fact that some critics pointed negatively – however, Simon reportedly felt it as a very natural artistic experiment, considering that "world music" was already present on much of his early work, including Simon & Garfunkel hits as "Cecilia". One way or another, Columbia Records re-established Simon as one of his most successful artists, and, in an attempt of capitalize on his renewed success, release the album Negotiations and Love Songs in November 1988, a mixture of greatest hits and personal favourites that covered Simon's entire career and became an enduring seller in his catalog.

After Graceland, Simon decided to extend its roots with the Brazilian music-flavored The Rhythm of the Saints. Sessions for the album began in December 1989, and took place in Rio de Janeiro and New York, featuring guitarist J. J. Cale and drummer Ringo Starr and many Brazilian and African musicians. The tone of the album was more introspective and relatively low-key compared to the mostly upbeat numbers of Graceland. Released on October 1990, the album received excellent critical reviews and achieved very respectable sales, peaking at #4 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the UK. The lead single, "The Obvious Child", featuring the Grupo Cultural Olodum, was a Top 20 hit in the UK and appeared near the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100. Although not as successful as Graceland, The Rhythm of the Saints was received as a competent successor and consistent complement on Simon's attempts to explore (and popularize) world music, and also received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The importance of both albums allowed Simon to stage another New York concert, and on August 15, 1991, almost a decade after his concert with Garfunkel, Simon staged another concert in Central Park with both African and South American bands. The success of the concert surpassed all expectations, and reportedly over 750,000 people assisted, becoming one of the largest concert audiences in history. He later remembered the concert as the "most memorable moment in my career". The success of the show led to both a live album and an Emmy-winning TV special. In the middle, Simon embarked on the successful Born at the Right Time Tour and promoted the album with further singles, including "Proof" – accompanied with a humorous video featuring, again, Chevy Chase. On March 4, 1992 appeared on his own MTV Unplugged, offering renditions of many of his most famous compositions. Broadcasted in June, the show was a success, though it did not receive an album release.

1993–98: The Capeman disaster

After Unplugged, Simon's place in the forefront of popular music dropped notably. A Simon & Garfunkel reunion took place in 1993, and in another attempt to capitalize on the occasion, Columbia released Paul Simon 1964/1993 in September, a three-disc compilation that received a reduced version on the two-disc album The Paul Simon Anthology one month later. In 1995 he only made news for appearing at The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he performed the song "Ten Years", which he composed specially for the tenth anniversary of the show. Also that year, he was featured on the Annie Lennox version of his 1973 song "Something So Right", which appeared briefly on the UK Top 50 once it was released as a single in November.

Since the early stages of the nineties, Simon was fully involved on The Capeman, a musical that finally opened on January 29, 1998. Simon worked enthusiastically on the project for many years and described it as "a New York Puerto Rican story based on events that happened in 1959—events that I remembered." [14] The musical tells the story of real-life Puerto Rican youth Salvador Agron, who wore a cape while committing two murders in 1959 New York, and who went on to become a writer in prison. Featuring Marc Anthony as the young Agron and Ruben Blades as the older Agron, the play received terrible reviews and very poor box offices since the very beginning, and ended closing in March 28 after just 68 performances, becoming a failure from which Simon reportedly lost 11 million dollars. The cast album, already released in November 1997, was received with very mixed reviews, though many critics praised the combination of doo-wop, rockabilly and Caribbean music that the album reflected. In commercial terms, Songs from The Capeman was a failure—it found Simon missing the Top 40 of the Billboard charts for the first time in his career.

1999-2007: maintained popularity

After the disaster of The Capeman, Simon's career was again in an unexpected crisis. However, entering the new millennium he maintained a respectable reputation, offering critically-acclaimed new material and receiving commercial attention. In 1999, Simon embarked on a North American tour with Bob Dylan where each alternated as headline act with a "middle" section where they performed together, starting on the first of June and ending September 18. The collaboration was generally well-received, with just one critic, Seth Rogovoy, from the Berkshire Eagle, questioning the collaboration.[15]

In an attempt to return successfully to the music market, Simon wrote and recorded a new album very quickly, with You're the One arriving in October 2000. The album consisted mostly on an incursion on folk-pop writting combined with foreign musical sounds, particularly grooves from North Africa. While not reaching the commercial heights of previous albums, it managed at least to reach both the British and American Top 20. It received favorable reviews and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. He toured extensively for the album, and one performance in Paris was released to home video.

On September 21, 2001, Simon sang Bridge Over Troubled Water on "America: A Tribute to Heroes", a multinetwork broadcast to benefit the September 11 Telethon Fund. In 2002 he wrote and recorded "Father and Daughter", the theme song for the animated children's movie The Wild Thornberrys Movie, The track was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. In 2003, he participed on another Simon & Garfunkel reunion. One year later, Simon's studio albums were re-released both individually and together in a limited-edition nine-CD boxed set, Paul Simon: The Studio Recordings 1972-2000.

At the time, Simon was already working on a new album with Brian Eno called Surprise, which was released in May 2006. Most of the album was inspired by the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq invasion and the war that followed. In personal terms, Simon was also inspired by the fact of being over sixty years old, an age that he turned in 2001 and that he humourously referred already on his single "Old", from the You're the One album. Simon showed specially care about the musical venture he traveled since 1986's Graceland. As he put it, "Once you go away for a bit, you wonder who people think you are. If they don't know what you're up to, they just go by your history. I'm so often described as this person that went to other cultures, which is true, but I never thought of it that way. I suspect people are thinking, 'What culture did you go to?' But this record is straight-ahead American." Surprise was a commercial hit, reaching #14 in the Billboard 200 and #4 in the UK. Most critics also praised the album, and many of them called it a real "comeback" for the artist. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from All Music Guide paid attention to the attempts of Simon in embracing his classic folk sound with Eno's electronic textures, and wrote that "Simon doesn't achieve his comeback by reconnecting with the sound and spirit of his classic work; he has achieved it by being as restless and ambitious as he was at his popular and creative peak, which makes Surprise all the more remarkable." The album was supported with the successful Surprise Tour.

On March 1, 2007, Simon made headlines again when he was announced as the first recipient of the recently-created Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The Prize, created by the Library of Congress, was awarded to Simon during a Concert Gala featuring his music at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on the evening of May 23. The event was nationally broadcast on PBS on the evening of June 27, 2007.[16] Performers at the concert included Shawn Colvin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, and Stevie Wonder as well as Simon's former collaborator Art Garfunkel.[17] On June 26, Warner Bros. released the definitive Paul Simon greatest-hits collection. The Essential Paul Simon consisted of two discs that reviewed 36 songs from his ten studio albums, and was also released on a special edition featuring a DVD of music videos and memorable live performances. The album was a commercial hit, reaching #12 in the UK.

Current news

Simon performing live in Germany, in 2008.

As of 2007, Paul Simon resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.[18] He is one of a small number of performers who are named as the copyright owner on their recordings (most records have the recording company as the named owner of the recording). This noteworthy development was spearheaded by the Bee Gees after their successful $200 million lawsuit against RSO Records, which remains to this day the largest successful lawsuit against a record company by an artist or group.

Simon is also one of the practitioners of a creative and distinctive fingerstyle guitar style in popular music. His instrumental proficiency (influenced by British guitarist Davey Graham as evidenced by his cover of Graham’s very difficult "Anji" on Sounds of Silence) has always been highly underrated and practically invisible as a guitarist.[19] His Cole Porter-esque compositional abilities with his combination of jazz-tinged chords and seamless, romantic, poetic lyrics ranged throughout all his different songwriting styles.

In February 2009, Simon performed back-to-back shows in his native New York City at the Beacon Theatre, which had recently been renovated. Simon was reunited with Art Garfunkel at the first show as well as with the cast of The Capeman; also playing in the band was Graceland bassist Bakithi Kumalo.

As of May 2009, Simon is touring with Art Garfunkel in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

In October 2009, Simon appeared alongside Art Garfunkel at the 25th Anniversary of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The pair performed four of their most popular songs, "The Sounds of Silence", "The Boxer", "Cecilia", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".


Music for Broadway

In the late 1990s, he also wrote and produced a Broadway musical called The Capeman, which lost $11 million during its 1998 run. In April 2008, the Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrated Paul Simon's works, and dedicated a week to Songs From the Capeman with a good portion of the show's songs performed by a cast of singers and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Simon himself appeared during the BAM shows, performing "Trailways Bus" and "Late In the Evening".

Film and television

Simon has also dabbled in acting. He played music producer Tony Lacey in the 1977 Woody Allen film Annie Hall, and wrote and starred in 1980's One Trick Pony as Jonah Levin, a journeyman rock and roller. Simon also wrote all the songs in the film. Paul Simon also appeared on The Muppet Show (the only episode to use only the songs of one songwriter, Simon). In 1990, he played the character Simple Simon on the Disney channel TV movie, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme.

Simon has also appeared on Saturday Night Live (SNL) either as host or musical guest for a total of 12 times. On one appearance in the late 1980s, he worked with his political namesake, Illinois Senator Paul Simon.[20]

His most recent SNL appearance was the May 13, 2006 episode hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He performed two new songs from his Surprise album, "How Can You Live in the Northeast?" and "Outrageous". In one SNL skit from 1986 (when he was promoting Graceland), Simon plays himself, waiting in line with a friend to get into a movie. He amazes his friend by remembering intricate details about prior meetings with passers-by, but draws a complete blank when approached by Art Garfunkel, despite the latter's numerous memory prompts.

Simon also appeared alongside George Harrison as musical guest on the Thanksgiving Day episode of SNL (November 20, 1976). The two performed "Here Comes the Sun" and "Homeward Bound" together, while Simon performed "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" solo earlier in the show. On that episode, Simon opened the show singing "Still Crazy After All These Years" in a turkey outfit, since Thanksgiving was the following week. About halfway through the song, Simon tells the band to stop playing because of his embarrassment. After giving a frustrating speech to the audience, he leaves the stage, backed by applause. Lorne Michaels positively greets him backstage, but Simon is still upset, yelling at him because of the humiliating turkey outfit. This is one of SNL's most played sketches.

On September 29, 2001, Simon made a special appearance on the first SNL to air after the September 11, 2001 attacks. On that show, he performed "The Boxer" to the audience and the NYC firefighters and police officers. He is also friends with former SNL star Chevy Chase, who appeared in his video for "You Can Call Me Al" lip synching the song while Simon looks disgruntled and mimes backing vocals and the playing of various instruments beside him. He is a close friend of SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who produced the 1977 TV show The Paul Simon Special, as well as the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park four years later. Simon and Lorne Michaels were the subjects of a 2006 episode of the Sundance channel documentary series, Iconoclasts.

He has been the subject of two films by Jeremy Marre, the first on Graceland, the second on The Capeman.

On November 18, 2008, Simon was a guest on The Colbert Report promoting his book Lyrics 1964-2008. He did an interview with Stephen Colbert and then performed "American Tune".

Simon performed a Stevie Wonder song at the White House in 2009, at an event honoring Wonder's musical career and contributions, hosted by President Barack Obama.

In May 2009, The Library of Congress: Paul Simon and Friends Live Concert was released on DVD, via Shout! Factory. The PBS concert was recorded in 2007.

Awards and honors

Paul Simon won 12 Grammy Awards (one of them a Lifetime Achievement Award) and five Grammy nominations, the most recent for his album You're the One in 2001. In 1998 he received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge over Troubled Water. He received an Oscar nomination for the song "Father and Daughter" in 2002.

In 2001 Paul Simon was honored as MusiCares Person Of The Year.

Paul Simon is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — as a solo artist in 2001, and in 1990 as half of Simon & Garfunkel.

In 2002, Paul Simon was one of the five annual recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest tribute to performing and cultural artists.

In 2005 he received the Top Award of the 53rd Annual BMI Pop Awards. His songwriting catalog has earned 39 BMI Awards including multiple citations for "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Mrs. Robinson," "Scarborough Fair" and "The Sound of Silence" and amassed nearly 75 million broadcast airplays, according to BMI surveys.

In 2006 Paul Simon was selected by Time Magazine as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World."

Paul Simon received the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007. Stevie Wonder received the second Gershwin Prize in 2009. Named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin, this newly created award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture. Upon being notified of receiving this honor, Simon said, “I am grateful to be the recipient of the Gershwin Prize and doubly honored to be the first. I look forward to spending an evening in the company of artists I admire at the award ceremony in May. I can think of a few who have expressed my words and music far better than I. I’m excited at the prospect of that happening again. It’s a songwriter’s dream come true." Among the performers who paid tribute to Simon were Stevie Wonder, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Marc Anthony, Yolanda Adams, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The event is beautifully filmed, broadcasted and now available as Paul Simon and Friends.

Personal life

Simon has been married three times, first to Peggy Harper in late autumn 1969. They had a son, Harper Simon, in 1972 and divorced in 1975. The song "Train in the Distance," from Simon's 1983 album, is about this relationship. [21] Simon's 1972 song "Run That Body Down," from his debut solo album, casually mentions both himself and his then-wife ("Peg") by name.

His second marriage, from 1983 to 1984, was to actress and author Carrie Fisher to whom he proposed after a New York Yankees game.[22] (The song "Hearts and Bones" was written about this relationship.)

He married folk singer Edie Brickell on May 30, 1992. They have three children together.

Though Simon is left-handed, he plays the guitar right-handed.


Simon is a proponent of music education for children. In 2003, he signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and free lessons to children in public schools throughout the U.S. He sits on the organization's board of directors as an honorary member.

Paul Simon is also a major benefactor and one of the co-founders, with Dr. Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Project and The Children's Health Fund[23][24] which started by creating specially equipped "buses" to take medical care to children in medically underserved areas, urban and rural. Their first bus was in the impoverished South Bronx of New York City but they now operate in 12 states, including the Gulf Coast. It has expanded greatly, partnering with major hospitals, local public schools and medical schools and advocating policy for children's health and medical care.


Number-one albums

Work on Broadway

See also


  1. ^ Bronson p. 428
  2. ^ "Episodes: Paul Simon". American Masters. Public Broadcasting System. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (October 14, 1990). "Paul Simon's Journey To Brazil and Beyond". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  4. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Paul Simon: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  5. ^ "Grammy Award Winners". [ Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  6. ^ "Biography and Timeline: Paul Simon". Inductees. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 
  7. ^ Tryangiel (April 30, 2006). "Paul Simon". Time. 
  8. ^ "Paul Simon: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song". Retrieved 2009-12-06. 
  9. ^ Paul Simon, Speech given upon induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH, 2003.
  10. ^ David Fricke, in the leaflet accompaniment to the Simon and Garfunkel 1997 album "Old Friends"
  11. ^ Simon and Garfunkel, The Kraft Hall Concert, BBC 1968 Video of Ed Simon's performance can be found at
  12. ^ "The Boy in the Bubble" by Patrick Humphries, page 96.
  13. ^ Paul Simon News on Yahoo! Music
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Public Affairs Office (2007-07-02). "Paul Simon To Be Awarded First Annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by Library of Congress". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  17. ^ Public Affairs Office (2007-04-23). "Star-Studded Lineup Confirmed for Library of Congress Concert Honoring Gershwin Prize Recipient Paul Simon". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  18. ^ Lorentzen, Amy, "Simon campaigns in Iowa for Dodd," Associated Press news article as printed in The Advocate of Stamford, Connecticut, with the words "Simon, who lives in New Canaan" added by editors at The Advocate - the words are not found in other versions of the article printed elsewhere, July 7, 2007
  19. ^ Matt Blackett wrote in Guitar Player that "Because he’s such a great songwriter, Paul Simon never gets enough love for his guitar playing, and that’s just plain uncool, because this guy is awesome." See (retrieved May 26, 2009)
  20. ^ Former Sen. Paul Simon Dies Fox News
  21. ^ The open Paul Simon biography
  22. ^ Ibid
  23. ^ CHF - The Children's Health Fund
  24. ^ Mobile health units bring medical care to homeless


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Still crazy after all these years...

Paul Frederic Simon (born 13 October 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. In 2006, Time Magazine called him one of the "100 people who shape our world". Husband of Edie Brickell.



I write from instinct, from inexplicable sparkle. ... I wait till I come across a pleasing accident. Then I start to develop it.
  • And the war rages on in a land called somewhere
    And Generals order their men to kill
    And to fight for a cause theyve long ago forgotten
    While a little cloud weeps on the side of a hill.
  • I wanted to sing other types of songs that Simon and Garfunkel wouldn't do. "Mother and Child Reunion" for example, is not a song that you would have normally thought that Simon and Garfunkel would have done. It's possible that they might have. But it wouldn't have been the same, and I don't know if I would have been so inclined in that direction. So for me it was a chance to break out and gamble a little bit ... The breakup had to do with a natural drifting apart as we got older and the separate lives that were more individual. We weren't so consumed with recording and performing. We had other activities ... there was no great pressure to stay together other than money, which exerted very little influence upon us. ... We didn't need the money.
    • On the breakup of Simon and Garfunkel as a musical team. Interview with Jon Landau for Rolling Stone (1972); republished in The Rolling Stone Interviews: 1967-1980 (1989) edited by Peter Herbst, p. 210
  • There was always some kind of strain, but it was workable. The bigger you get, the more of a strain it is, because in your everyday life, you're less used to compromising. As you get bigger, you have your own way. But in a partnership you always have to compromise. ... When you get into a partnership, you're not the boss. There's no boss. That makes it hard.
    • Interview with Jon Landau for Rolling Stone (1972); republished in The Rolling Stone Interviews: 1967-1980 (1989) edited by Peter Herbst, p. 211
  • Instead of thinking in terms of chords, I think of voice-leading; that is, melody line and bass line, and where the bass line goes. If you do that, you'll have the right chord. [These voices] will give you some alternatives, and you can play those different alternatives to hear which one suits your ear... Keep the bass line moving so you don't stay in one spot: if you have an interesting bass line and you roll it against the melody, the chords are going to come out right.
    • As quoted in "Paul Simon's Workshop at the Guitar Study Center" by Richard Albero and Fred Styles in Guitar Player (April 1975), p. 20
We have to be able to expand the vocabulary to express more complex thoughts...
  • I didn't want to repeat the same notes in the second verse that I used in the first, so I wrote out all the notes of the song and all the notes that were missing in the scale, given that there are twelve notes from octave to octave. All those notes that weren't in the scale were the ones I wanted in for the next verse. The listener isn't aware that they are new notes, but the sound is pleasing to the ear. I change the key, and somehow it's fresh because you haven't heard those notes before.
    • As quoted in "Paul Simon's Workshop at the Guitar Study Center" by Richard Albero and Fred Styles in Guitar Player (April 1975), p. 21
  • Well its great to do a neighborhood concert. I hope everyone can hear us. I hope that the sound is good. I hope we are blasting Central Park West and Fifth avenue pretty much away. I just want to thank the police department and the fire department and the parks commissioner, and Ed Koch [Audience boos] — and particularly, you know, people that never get recognized for doing good things for the city, a group of people that have donated half of the proceeds that they're making tonight — the guys who are selling loose joints are giving the city half of their income tonight.
  • I have gone through different phases in my music writing. There was a time when I used a little exercise — incorporating all of the twelve notes in the chromatic scale — to get me going. I used this technique for a while, but I don't any longer because I am going back to simpler melodies. Originally I moved away from the simple songs because I thought they were too simple.
    • "Songwriting" in Making Music (1983) edited by George Martin, p. 70
  • I write from instinct, from inexplicable sparkle. I don't know why I'm writing what I'm writing. Usually, I sit and I let my hands wander on my guitar. And I sing anything. I play anything. And I wait till I come across a pleasing accident. Then I start to develop it. Once you take a piece of musical information, there are certain implications that it automatically contains — the implication of that phrase elongated, contracted, or inverted or in another time signature. So you start with an impulse and go to what your ear likes.
    • Interview with Tony Schwartz in Playboy (February 1984) p. 166
  • [Rock 'n' roll] really is not given to thinking — and resents thinking. Which I believe is the big error of rock 'n' roll. It's always aspired to be the music of the working class. And it's never been looked upon as a vocabulary for art and artistic thinking... We have to be able to expand the vocabulary to express more complex thoughts.
    • Interview in Musician (March 1984), p. 66-68
  • This is near enough true bliss.

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964)

Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again...
  • Hello darkness, my old friend
    I've come to talk with you again

    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of silence.
In the naked light I saw ten thousand people maybe more — people talking without speaking — people hearing without listening...
  • And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening

    People writing songs that voices never shared
    No one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence
    • The Sound of Silence
  • "Fools," said I, "you do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows

    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you"
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence.
    • The Sound of Silence
And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made...
  • And the people bowed and prayed
    To the neon god they made

    And the sign flashed out its warning
    In the words that it was forming
    And the sign said "The words of the prophets
    Are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls
    And whispered in the sound of silence"
    • The Sound of Silence

Sounds of Silence (1966)

  • A winter’s day
    In a deep and dark December
    I am alone.
    • I Am a Rock
I am a rock. I am an island.
  • I am a rock.
    I am an island.
    • I Am a Rock
  • I’ve built walls,
    A fortress deep and mighty,
    That none may penetrate.
    I have no need of friendship;
    friendship causes pain.
    It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
    • I Am a Rock
And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries.
  • If I never loved
    I never would have cried.
    • I Am a Rock
  • I am shielded in my armor
    Hiding in my room safe within my womb
    I touch no one and no one touches me.
    I am a rock.
    I am an island.
    And a rock feels no pain.
    And an island never cries.
    • I Am a Rock

Bookends (1968)

Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages...
  • Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together,
    I've got some real-estate here in my bag.
    So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs Wagner pies,
    And walked off to look for America.
    • America
  • Laughing on the bus, playing games with the faces,
    She said the man in the gaberdine suit was a spy,
    I said, 'Be careful, his bowtie is really a camera.'
    • America
  • Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.
    • Bookends
  • Time, time, time, see what's become of me,
    While I looked around for my possibilities,
    I was so hard to please,
    But look around, the leaves are brown,
    And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.
    • A Hazy Shade of Winter
  • Someone told me
    It's all happening at the zoo.
    I do believe it,
    I do believe it's true.
  • The monkeys stand for honesty,
    Giraffes are insincere,
    And the elephants are kindly but
    They're dumb.
    Orangutans are skeptical
    Of changes in their cages,
    And the zookeeper is very fond of rum.
    • At The Zoo
  • Zebras are reactionaries,
    Antelopes are missionaries,
    Pigeons plot in secrecy,
    And hamsters turn on frequently.
    • At The Zoo

Bridge over Troubled Water (1970)

I get all the news I need from the weather report.
  • I get all the news I need from the weather report.
    • The Only Living Boy in New York — released as a single in 1969
When times get rough and friends just can't be found like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down...
  • When you're weary
    Feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes
    I will dry them all
    I'm on your side
    When times get rough
    And friends just can't be found
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down.
  • I'll take your part
    When darkness comes
    And pain is all around.
    • Bridge over Troubled Water
  • Sail on Silver Girl,
    Sail on by
    Your time has come to shine
    All your dreams are on their way
    See how they shine
    If you need a friend
    I'm sailing right behind...
    • Bridge over Troubled Water
  • I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail
    Yes I would, if I could, I surely would
    I'd rather be a hammer than a nail
    Yes I would, if I only could, I surely would
    • El Condor Pasa (If I Could)

Paul Simon (1972)

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away...
  • No I would not give you false hope
    On this strange and mournful day
    But the mother and child reunion
    Is only a motion away
    Oh, little darling of mine
    I can't for the life of me
    Remember a sadder day
    I know they say let it be
    But it just don't work out that way...
I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm goin',
I'm on my way, I'm takin' my time, but I don't know where...
  • When the papa found out, he began to shout, and he started the investigation
    It's against the law, it was against the law
    What the mama saw, it was against the law.
  • I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm goin',
    I'm on my way, I'm takin' my time, but I don't know where.

    Goodbye to Rosie, the Queen of Corona
    See you, me and Julio down by the schoolyard.
    • Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973)

  • When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school,
    It's a wonder I can think at all,
    And though my lack of education hasn't hurt me none,
    I can read the writing on the wall.
  • Kodachrome,
    They give us those nice bright colours,
    Give us the greens of summers,
    Makes you think all the world's a sunny day,
    Oh, yeah, I got a Nikon camera,
    I love to take a photograph,
    So Mama, don't take my Kodachrome away.
  • Come on, take me to the Mardi Gras,
    Where the people sing and play,
    Where the music is elite and there's dancing in the street,
    Both night and day.
    • Take Me To The Mardi Gras

Still Crazy After All These Years (1975)

  • I met my old lover on the street last night,
    She seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled,
    And we talked about some old times, and we drank ourselves some beers,
    Still crazy after all these years,
    Oh, still crazy after all these years.
    • Still Crazy After All These Years
  • I fear I’ll do some damage
    One fine day
    But I would not be convicted
    By a jury of my peers
    Still crazy
    Still crazy
    Still crazy after all these years.
    • Still Crazy After All These Years
  • The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
    The answer is easy if you take it logically
    I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
    There must be fifty ways to leave your lover.
She said, why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
And I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light...
  • Just slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan
    Don't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me
    Hop on the bus, Gus, don't need to discuss much
    Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free.
    • 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  • She said, why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
    And I believe, in the morning you'll begin to see the light

    And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right
    There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, fifty ways to leave your lover
    • 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Hearts and Bones (1983)

  • One and one half wandering Jews,
    Free to wander wherever they choose,
    Are travelling together in the Sangre de Christo,
    The blood of Christ mountains over Mexico,
    On the last leg of a journey they started a long time ago,
    The arc of a love affair,
    Rainbows in the high desert air.
    • Hearts and Bones
  • Mountain passes slipping into stones,
    Hearts and bones.
    • Hearts and Bones
  • Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
    Everybody thinks its true.
    • Train In The Distance
  • Two disappointed believers
    Two people playing the game
    Negotiations and love songs
    Are often mistaken for one and the same.
    • Train In The Distance
  • And what is the point of this story?
    What information pertains?
    The thought that life could be better
    Is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.
    • Train In The Distance

Graceland (1986)

  • These are the days of miracle and wonder,
    This is the long distance call,
    The way the camera follows us in slo-mo,
    The way we look to us all,
    The way we look to a distant constellation
    That's dying in a corner of the sky,
    These are the days of miracle and wonder
    And don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry.
    • The Boy In The Bubble
  • It's a turn-around jump-shot,
    It's everybody jump-start, it's,
    Every generation throws a hero up the pop-charts,
    Medicine is magical and magical is art,
    Think of the boy in the bubble and the baby with the baboon heart...
    • The Boy In The Bubble
  • The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar,
    I am following the river down the highway
    Through the cradle of the Civil War.
    • Graceland
  • I'm going to Graceland, Graceland,
    Memphis, Tennessee,
    Well, I'm going to Graceland.
    Poor boys and pilgrims with families
    And we are going to Graceland,
    And my travelling companion is nine years old,
    He is the child of my first marriage,
    But I've reason to believe
    We both will be received in Graceland.
    • Graceland
  • And she said 'Losing love is like a window in your heart,
    Everybody sees you're blown apart,
    Everybody feels the wind blow.'
    • Graceland
  • She said, 'Don't I know you from the cinematographer's party?'
    I said, 'Who am I to blow against the wind?'
    • I Know What I Know
  • She's a rich girl,
    She don't try to hide it,
    Diamonds on the soles of her shoes,
    He's a poor boy,
    Empty as a pocket,
    Empty as a pocket with nothing to lose,
    Sing ta-na-na, ta-na-na-na,
    She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes.
    • Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
I want a shot at redemption Don’t want to end up a cartoon In a cartoon graveyard...
  • A man walks down the street
    He says why am I soft in the middle now
    Why am I soft in the middle
    The rest of my life is so hard

    I need a photo opportunity
    I want a shot at redemption
    Don’t want to end up a cartoon
    In a cartoon graveyard.
  • If you’ll be my bodyguard
    I can be your long lost pal
    I can call you Betty
    And Betty when you call me
    You can call me Al.
    • You Can Call Me Al
There were incidents and accidents there were hints and allegations...
  • A man walks down the street
    He says why am I short of attention
    Got a short little span of attention
    And woe my nights are so long
    • You Can Call Me Al
  • There were incidents and accidents
    There were hints and allegations...
    • You Can Call Me Al
  • A man walks down the street
    It’s a street in a strange world
    Maybe it’s the third world
    Maybe it’s his first time around ...
    He looks around around
    He sees angels in the architecture
    Spinning in infinity
    He says Amen and Hallelujah
    • You Can Call Me Al
  • Homeless, homeless,
    Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake.
    • Homeless

The Rhythm of the Saints (1990)

  • Well I'm accustomed to a smooth ride,
    Or maybe I'm a dog that's lost its bite,
    I don't expect to be treated like a fool, no, no,
    I don't expect to sleep long nights,
    Some people say a lie is just a lie but I say,
    Why deny the obvious child?
  • Sonny sits by his window and thinks to himself,
    How it's strange that some rooms are like cages,
    Sonny's yearbook from high school is down from the shelf,
    And he idly thumbs through the pages,
    Some have died, some have fled from themselves,
    On a struggle from here to get there,
    Sonny wanders beyond his interior walls,
    Runs his hands through his thinning brown hair.
  • Never been lonely,
    Never been lied to,
    Never had to scuffle in fear,
    Nothing to dive to,
    Born at the instant,
    The church bells chime,
    The whole world whispering,
    You're born at the right time.
    • Born at the Right Time
  • Moves like a fist through traffic,
    Anger and no-one can kill it,
    Shoves a little bump to the momentum,
    It's just a little lump but you feel it
    In the creases and the shadows,
    With a rattling deep emotion.
    The cool, cool river
    Sweeps the wild, wide ocean.

Surprise (2006)

Far above the golden clouds, the darkness vibrates...
  • How can you live in the Northeast? How can you live in the South? How can you build on the banks of a river when the flood water pours from the mouth?
    How can you be a Christian? How can you be a Jew? How can you be a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu?
    How can you?
    • How Can You Live In The Northeast?
  • If the answer is infinite light, why do we sleep in the dark?
    • How Can You Live In The Northeast?
  • Locked in a struggle for the right combination — of words in a melody line, I took a walk along the riverbank of my imagination. Golden clouds were shuffling the sunshine.
    • Everything About It Is a Love Song
The earth is blue. And everything about it is a love song.
  • We don't mean to mess things up, but mess them up we do. And then it's "Oh, I'm sorry." Here's a smiling photograph of love when it was new. At a birthday party.
    Make a wish and close your eyes; surprise, surprise, surprise.
    • Everything About It Is a Love Song
  • I shoot a thought into the future, and it flies like an arrow, through my lifetime. And beyond.
    If I ever come back as a tree, or a crow, or even the wind-blown dust; find me on the ancient road in the song when the wires are hushed. Hurry on and remember me, as I'll remember you. Far above the golden clouds, the darkness vibrates.
    The earth is blue.
    And everything about it is a love song. Everything about it.
    • Everything About It Is a Love Song
Who's gonna love you when your looks are gone?
  • It's outrageous to line your pockets off the misery of the poor. Outrageous, the crimes some human beings must endure. It's a blessing to wash your face in the summer solstice rain. It's outrageous a man like me stand here and complain. But I'm tired.
    • Outrageous
  • Who's gonna love you when your looks are gone? Tell me, who's gonna love you when your looks are gone?
    • Outrageous
God will. Like He waters the flowers on your window sill.
  • God will. Like He waters the flowers on your window sill. Take me. I'm an ordinary player in the key of C. And my will was broken by my pride and my vanity. Who's gonna love you when your looks are gone? God will. Like He waters the flowers on your window sill.
    • Outrageous
  • I registered to vote today. Felt like a fool. Had to do it anyway. Down at the high school.
    • "Sure Don't Feel Like Love"
  • Maybe I'm wrong again. Wrong again. I could be wrong again. I remember once in August 1993, I was wrong, and I could be wrong again. I remember one of my best friends turned enemy. So, I was wrong, and I could be wrong again.
    • "Sure Don't Feel Like Love"
  • It sure. Don't feel.
    Like love.
    • "Sure Don't Feel Like Love"
I'm trying to tap into some wisdom. Even a little drop will do...
  • Prayers offered in times of peace are silent conversations. Appeals for love, or love's release. In private invocations. But all that is changed now. Gone like a memory from the day before the fires. People hungry for the voice of God hear lunatics and liars. Wartime prayers. Wartime prayers in every language spoken. For every family scattered and broken.
    Because you cannot walk with the holy if you're just a halfway decent man. I don't pretend that I'm a mastermind with a genius marketing plan. I'm trying to tap into some wisdom. Even a little drop will do. I want to rid my heart of envy, and cleanse my soul of rage before I'm through.
    • "Wartime Prayers"
  • Snowman sittin' in the sun doesn't have time to waste.
    • "Beautiful"
You'd better keep an eye on them children, eye on them children in the pool.
  • Little kid dancin' in the grass, legs like rubber band. It's summertime, summertime. There's a line at the candy stand. Keep an eye on them children, eye on them children in the pool. You'd better keep an eye on them children, eye on them children in the pool.
    • "Beautiful"
  • "The universe loves a drama," you know. And ladies and gentlemen this is the show.
    • " I Don't Believe" — Simon here quotes a comment by his wife, Edie Brickell, on the 2004 US presidential election.
  • I got a call from my broker. The broker informed me I'm broke. I was dealing my last hand of poker. My cards were useless as smoke.
    • " I Don't Believe"
Maybe the heart is part of the mist.
And that's all that there is or could ever exist.
  • Maybe the heart is part of the mist.
    And that's all that there is or could ever exist.

    Maybe and maybe and maybe some more.
    Maybe's the exit that I'm looking for.
    • " I Don't Believe"
  • There is a moment, a chip in time, when leaving home is the lesser crime.
    When your eyes are blind with tears, but your heart can see: another life, another galaxy.
    • "Another Galaxy" on Surprise (2006)
  • Once upon a time there was an ocean. But now it's a mountain range. Something unstoppable put into motion. Nothing is different, but everything's changed.
    • "Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean"
Nothing is different, but everything's changed...
  • I'm easy, I'm open — that's my gift. I can flow with the traffic, I can drift with the drift.
    • "Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean"
  • The light through the stained glass was cobalt and red. And the frayed cuffs and collars were mended by haloes of golden thread. The choir sang, "Once Upon a Time There Was An Ocean." And all the old hymns and family names came fluttering down as leaves of emotion.
    As nothing is different, but everything's changed.
    • "Once Upon a Time There Was an Ocean"
  • Well I'll just skip the boring parts chapters one, two, three and get to the place where you can read my face and my biography.
    • "That's Me"
Trust your intuition ... you don't need to waste your time worrying about the marketplace, try to help the human race...
  • Well I never cared much for money, and money never cared for me. I was more like a land-locked sailor, searching for the emerald sea.
    • "That's Me"
  • I am walking up the face of the mountain. Counting every step I climb. Remembering the names of the constellations. Forgotten is a long, long time.
    • "That's Me"
  • I'm gonna watch you shine, gonna watch you grow. Gonna paint a sign so you'll always know. As long as one and one is two.
    There could never be a father who loved his daughter more than I love you.
    • "Father and Daughter"
  • Trust your intuition. It's just like goin' fishin'. You cast your line and hope you get a bite.
    But you don't need to waste your time worrying about the marketplace, try to help the human race. Struggling to survive its harshest night.
    • "Father and Daughter"

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Paul simon
File:Paul Simon 25-07-2008
Paul Simon in concert
Background information
Born October 13, 1941
Newark, New Jersey[1]
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocal, guitar
Years active 1958 to present
Associated acts Simon and Garfunkel, Tom and Jerry

Paul Simon (October 13, 1941) is an American musician and song writer. He became famous as a member of Simon and Garfunkel, with his friend, Art Garfunkel. He wrote their songs. The two went their separate ways in the early 1970s and since then Simon has become a successful solo artist.

Paul Simon had his first success in 1958 when his song "Hey Schoolgirl" got to Number 49 on the US charts.[1] He was performing with his friend Art Garfunkel in an act called "Tom and Jerry". His next success was in 1965 with "Sounds of Silence" which went to Number 1.[1] This was also performed with Garfunkel under the name "Simon and Garfunkel.

Some of Simon's most famous songs include "Slip Sliding Away", "American Tune", "Late in the Evening", "Still Crazy After All These Years", "Me and Julio Down By the School Yard" and "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". His 1986 album Graceland is very well-known. He is still producing music. His newest album is called Surprise.

Simon has received three honorary doctorates in music, including one from Yale University. In 2006, Time said that he was one of the 100 people who shape our world.[2]


  • Paul Simon (WEA), 1972
  • There Goes Rhymin' Simon, (WEA), 1973
  • Still Crazy After All These Years, (WEA), 1975
  • One-Trick Pony, (Warner Bros.), 1980
  • Hearts and Bones, (Warner Bros.), 1983
  • Graceland, (Warner Bros.), 1986
  • Rhythm of the Saints, (Warner Bros) 1990
  • Songs from the Capeman, (Warner Bros.), 1997
  • You're the One, (Warner Bros), 2000
  • Surprise, (Warner Bros), 2006


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Sinclair, David (1995). The Essential Guide to Rock on CD. London: Greenwich Editions. pp. pg. 349. ISBN 0862880327. 
  2.,9171,1187393,00.html Paul Simon - TIME

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