News: Anne Bancroft Dies In New York At 73
Actress Anne Bancroft, best remembered to many S&G fans as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, has died of uterine cancer at her home in New York. She was 73. The Reuters obituary can be read here.
Bancroft played numerous roles over her illustrious acting career. She won a Tony Award in 1958 for "Two On The Seesaw," starring opposite Henry Fonda. She also won an oscar in 1962 for the film The Miracle Worker, where she played Annie Sulivan, teacher and mentor to Helen Keller. She also won a Tony for the same role in 1960.
Bancroft is survived by her husband, comedian Mel Brooks. (7 June 2005)
News: Simon Working With Brian Eno On New Album
According to The Independent, Paul Simon is working with Brian Eno on a new album. Paul has been speding time in London with Eno, according to Yoko Ono. Strange sources, eh?. (11 May 2005)
Editor's Notes: What's Up With SongFTA.com?
Sorry it's been so long between updates. I've been up to my gills in work, school, more work, and have seen a dearth of new S&G-related info. In the works is a new design for the site, one using CSS and PHP to provide a much more spry and dynamic look-and-feel without resorting to cumbersome (and pointless) Flash and whatnot. Stay tuned - it is in the works. If you want to partake of my blog, click here.
News: New S&G Live Set Features New Song!
The long-awaited live concert CD and DVD from Simon & Garfunkel is now available for the holiday season. Old Friends, Live On Stage chronicles the complete setlist of one of S&G's 2003-2004 concerts, including the guest appearance by The Everly Brothers. The sound quality is great, and though the set is cobbled together from more than one show, the performances are lively. As a bonus, the CD set includes a "new" S&G song, "Citizen Of The Planet."
You can order this set from Amazon.com and support SongFTA.com: it's available as a 2-disc CD set, a DVD, or a deluxe set with both the CD and DVD.
For those who don't know, "Citizen Of The Planet" is not a truly new song, having been penned in the early-1980s during the Hearts And Bones sessions, and performed once before on "Late Night With David Letterman." The performance on Letterman's show was cut early, causing Paul to refuse to appear on Letterman's show for many years thereafter. (2 December 2004)
News: New S&G Song To Premiere This Weekend!
From the SimonAndGarfunkel.com news feed:
The first new Simon & Garfunkel song to be
broadcast in more than three decades will make its debut this weekend on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday. As part of an exclusive radio interview with NPR's Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition, Art Garfunkel will introduce a song by Paul Simon called "Citizen of the Planet." The musicians, who rarely do interviews together, will appear on Weekend Edition on June 12 in the only radio interview the pair is doing to preview their 2004 "Old Friends" tour.
Listeners to Saturday's Weekend Edition interview will also be among the very first to hear how Simon and Garfunkel have updated some of their legendary songs, as the interview will feature excerpts from the forthcoming "Old Friends" tour CD. [Link to audio from NPR]
For those who don't know, "Citizen Of The Planet" is not a truly new song, having been penned in the early-1980s during the Hearts And Bones sessions, and performed once before on "Late Night With David Letterman." The performance on Letterman's show was cut early, causing Paul to refuse to appear on Letterman's show for many years thereafter. (9 June 2004)
News: Paul Simon Catalogue Remasters
It looks like the long-awaited remastering of Paul's catalogue is taking shape. According to a news tidbit from Billboard Online, Warner Brothers is planning a release of a 9-disc box set of Simon's solo work.
The set, Studio Recordings 1972-2000, will likely include the entirety of his post-S&G studio output, from 1972's Paul Simon through 2000's You're The One - a 10 album spread, not counting hits compilations. No word yet on what, if any, bonus tracks will be included in the set. According to Billboard, the release date for this set is slated for June 29.
As detailed in Billboard Online, here are the bonus tracks for each album:
Paul Simon: "Duncan" and "Me And Julio" (acoustic demos); "Paranoia Blues" (alt. take)
There Goes Rhymin' Simon: "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" and "Loves Me Like A Rock" (acoustic demos); "American Tune" (unfinished run-through); "Let Me Live In Your City" (in-progress take)
Still Crazy After All These Years: "Slip Slidin' Away" and "Gone At Last" (demos); "Silent Eyes" (from the Shampoo soundtrack)
One Trick Pony: "Soft Parachutes," "All Because Of You," "Stranded In A Limousine" and "Spiral Highway" (previously unreleased, save for "Stranded")
Hearts And Bones: "The Late Great Johnny Ace," "Rene And Georgette Magritte..." and "Train In The Distance" (acoustic demos); "Shelter Of Your Arms" (unreleased outtake)
Graceland: "Homeless" (demo); "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" (unreleased version); "All Around The World of The Myth Of Fingerprints" (early take)
Thr Rhythm Of The Saints: "Thelma" (non-album outtake); "Born At The Right Time" (acoustic demo); "The Coast" and "Spirit Voices" (outtakes)
Songs From 'The Capeman': "Born In Puerto Rico" (demo with Jos¬é Feliciano); "Can I Forgive Him?" (demo); "Shoplifting Clothes" (previously unreleased)
You're The One: "Old," "That's Where I Belong" and "Hurricane Eye" (live versions)
Word of this set first emerged in late-April. According to internal memos fro Warner UK that are floating around the industry, the project will be handled by Warner's Rhino/Warner Archives group. Here is what can be gleaned from the memo:
Release Date: 5 July 2004
Paul Simon Brick (9CD Box) - 0 8122789092 6
Release Date: 26 July 2004
Paul Simon (Remastered & Expanded) - 0 8122788992 0
There Goes Rhymin' Simon (Remastered & Expanded) - 0 8122789002 5
Still Crazy After All These Years (Remastered & Expanded) - 0 8122789012 4
One Trick Pony (Remastered & Expanded) - 0 8122789022 3
Hearts And Bones - 0 8122789032 2
As with all rumours, this may or may not be true - though the Billboard story does add a bit of legitimacy to the rumours. Additionally, any catalogue numbers cited may not reflect the actual release numbers, and may not apply outside of the UK. We'll post more as we find out more. (Thanks to JB for the tip!) (18 May 2004)
News: Simon & Garfunkel Touring Again This Summer!
I guess last year's tour can be considered a success, because Simon and Garfunkel are hitting the road again this summer. The Everly Brothers will join them again for their mid-performance mini-set. Thus far, the following dates have been announced:
U.S. Tour 2004
June 10 - Albany NY (Pepsi Arena) - onsale: now
June 11 - Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena) - onsale: now
June 12 - Philadelpha, PA (Wachovia Center) - onsale: now
June 14 - Baltimore, MD (1st Mariner Arena) - onsale: 15 May
June 16 - Pittsburgh, PA (Mellon Arena) - onsale: now
June 17 - Buffalo, NY (HSBC Arena) - onsale: now
June 19 - Grand Rapids, MI (Van Andel) - onsale: now
June 20 - Cincinnati, OH (U.S. Bank Arena) - onsale: now
June 22 - Nashville, TN (Gaylord Entertainment Center) - onsale: now
June 23 - Indianapolis, IN (Conseco Fieldhouse) - onsale: now
June 25 - Milwaukee, WI (Bradley Center) - onsale: now
June 26 - St. Louis, MO (Savvis Center) - onsale: now
June 27 - Omaha, NE (Quest Center) - onsale: 17 May
June 29 - Salt Lake City, UT (Delta Center) - onsale: now
July 1 - Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Bowl) - onsale: now
July 2 - Fresno, CA (Save Mart Center) - onsale: now
July 3 - Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Arena) - onsale: now
July 6 - Austin, TX (Frank Erwin Center) - onsale: 22 May
July 7 - Houston, TX (Toyota Center) - onsale: 15 May
July 8 - Dallas, TX (American Airlines Center) - onsale: TBA
In addition, the boys will travel over the Atlantic to tour Europe this summer, as well. The Everly Brothers will join them for these dates, as well.
European Tour 2004
July 14 - Manchester, ENG (MEN Arena)
July 15 - London, ENG (Hyde Park)
July 17 - Dublin, IRE (RDS Arena)
July 19 - Paris, FRA (Bercy Arena)
July 20 - K¬öln, GER (K¬öln Arena)
July 21 - Amsterdam, NED (Amsterdam Arena)
July 23 - Copenhagen, DEN (Parken)
July 25 - Stockholm, SWE (Stockholm Globe Arena)
July 28 - Munich, GER (Olympic Stadium)
July 29 - Basel, SUI (St. Jakobstadium)
July 31 - Rome, ITA
As before, with the U.S. dates there will be internet pre-sales available from SimonAndGarfunkel.com. I'll post more info as it becomes available. (13 May 2004)
News: The Paul Simon Songbook Available On CD!
The wait is finally over! On March 23, Sony's Legacy Recordings released Paul Simon's first solo folk album, The Paul Simon Songbook. This is one that has been in the rumour mills for some time, and is an album that die-hards have tracked down on vinyl or ROIO CD. Now it's here, and it even has bonus tracks: alternate takes of "I Am A Rock" and "A Church Is Burning." You can pre-order the CD (and support SongFTA.com) by ordering from this link (courtesy of Amazon.com). (11 March 2004)
News/Commentary: Senator Paul Simon Dies At 75
An era ended on December 9, 2003, as retired Senator Paul Simon died due to complications of heart surgery. He was 75. Senator Simon shared not only a name with one of my favourite artists, but also a dry wit that was most refreshing. Senator Paul "Bow Tie" Simon appeared on-stage with Paul "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Simon on Saturday Night Live in 1987 - a great moment of irony in television and politics. A transcript of this apppearance is available. Senator Simon will be missed, regardless of whether you agreed with his politics or not. (10 December 2003)
News: Simon & Garfunkel Reunion Tour A Rousing Success (updated)
The "Old Friends 2003" tour began on October 16, 2003, at Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The tour stopped in almost 30 cities, drawing sold-out crowds at every show. The announcement took place at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, and the duo performed "Old Friends," "Homeward Bound" and "The Boxer." The shows featured all of the duo's hits - from "Hey, Schoolgirl" to "My Little Town," including quite a few rare gems from Bridge Over Troubled Water and a two post-breakup songs, "Slip Slidin' Away" and "American Tune." The shows also featured a mid-show spotlight set from The Everly Brothers, who performed four of their own hits.
16 Oct - Wilkes-Barre, PA (Wachovia Arena)
18-19 Oct - Auburn Hills, MI (The Palace)
20 Oct - Cleveland, OH (Gund Arena)
22 Oct - Columbus, OH (Schottenstein Center)
24-25 Oct - Chicago, IL (United Center)
26-27 Oct - St. Paul, MN (Xcel Energy Center)
30 Oct - Denver, CO (Pepsi Center)
1 Nov - Seattle, WA (KeyArena at Seattle Center)
2 Nov - Portland, OR (Rose Garden)
4-5 Nov - San Jose, CA (HP Pavilion)
6 Nov - Oakland, CA (Arena in Oakland)
8 Nov - Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
9 Nov - Phoenix, AZ (America West Arena)
15 Nov - San Diego, CA (Cox Arena)
17-18 Nov - Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)
19 Nov - Anaheim, CA (Arrowhead Pond)
20 Nov - Sacramento, CA (ARCO Arena)
23 Nov - Anaheim, CA (Arrowhead Pond)
28 Nov - Atlantic City, NJ (Boardwalk Hall)
29 Nov - Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Arena)
30 Nov - Toronto, ON (AirCanada Centre)
2-4 Dec - New York, NY (Madison Square Garden)
7-8 Dec - East Rutherford, NJ (Continental Airlines Arena)
9 Dec - Philadelphia, PA (Wachovia Center)
11, 13 Dec - Boston, MA (Fleet Center)
14-15 Dec - Washington, DC (MCI Center)
17 Dec - Miami, FL (American Airlines Arena)
18 Dec - Sunrise, FL (Office Depot Center)
20 Dec - Atlanta, GA (Phillips Arena)
21 Dec - Tampa, FL (St. Pete Times Forum)
(31 December 2003)
News: Columbia/Legacy Records Releases The Essential Simon & Garfunkel
The Essential Simon & Garfunkel is a two-disc hits collection, borrowing liberally from the Old Friends box set and the Live In New York City, 1967 live disc. The set includes a mix of studio tracks and live cuts, as well as the 1975 reunion track, "My Little Town." The set is available for online ordering from Amazon.com (and you'll help support this site by ordering through the aformentioned link). (1 December 2003)
News: S&G Concert In Central Park now available on DVD
The 1981 reunion concert in Central Park is out on DVD. You can support SongFTA.com and enjoy a discount by pre-ordering from Amazon.com. (1 December 2003)
News: Clay Aiken's Cover Of "Bridge" Debuts At #2 On Billboard Chart
The debut single from "American Idol" runner-up, Clay Aiken, debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The double-A-sided single features Aiken's excellent rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and a new song, "This Is The Night."
You can purchase the single (and support SongFTA.com) from Amazon.com (click here to purchase). (18 June 2003)
News: Simon & Garfunkel Reunite At Grammys! (updated)
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed together in public for the first time since 1993 at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, 23 February. After days of speculation, Paul and Art opened the show after a short introduction by Dustin Hoffman (of The Graduate). Their rendition of "The Sound Of Silence" was most wonderful, with beautiful harmonies and wonderful guitar playing by Simon. The two were dressed casually, and seemed to enjoy the moment.
Said Simon at the post-performance press conference, "you know, we're New Yorkers, and we haven't sung together in 10 years. In fact, we really haven't seen each other in 10 years, so it's like a reunion of family members, in our hometown, singing the song that, you know, was our first hit - really memorable night." Simon and Garfunkel aren't completely ruling out a reunion tour, though chances are very, very slim - don't count on it.
The pair received a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) at a special (non-televised) ceremony on Saturday, February 22. (24 February 2003)
News: Paul Simon Receives Kennedy Center Honors (updated)
Paul Simon received the Kennedy Center Honors on December 8. Paul was feted by Steve Martin, James Taylor, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Alicia Keys and others. Paul made the weekend a family affair: mother Belle, brother Eddie, son Harper and wife Edie were all in attendance. Paul looked very dapper in a black suit for the December 7 White House reception, and equally sharp in a tuxedo for Sunday's gala.
Other honorees included James Earl Jones, conductor James Levine, Chita Rivera and Elizabeth Taylor. The original plan was for Paul McCartney to receive the honors this year. McCartney was forced to cancel due to the wedding of his daughter, Stella. McCartney will receive the Honors in 2003. (9 December 2002)
News: Simon's Writing For New Album: Slow And Steady
In an article in the December 6 issue of The Washington Post, Paul Simon revealed that the writing process for his upcoming album is very slow (as opposed to the burst of writing that precipitated You're The One).
Thus far, Paul has completed four songs for the new disc, which is reportedly
due in spring 2003. [note: as of spring 2004, there's still no album.] (9 December 2002)
News: The Paul Simon Collection Out Now! (updated)
Yet another Paul Simon hits collection? Yup! This one is called The
Paul Simon Collection: On My Way, Don't Know Where I'm Going, and features
a sampling of Simon's hits from 1972 up to 2000. As is typical of recent Simon
hits collections, the tracklist leans heavily on material from Graceland and
later, with one song from The Capeman and two from You're The One A
deluxe, double-CD edition of this album includes a 5-track live sampler, featuring
live performances of "American Tune" and "Duncan" from 1973, "Mrs. Robinson" from
1999, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" from the 2001 New Orleans Jazz Festival (featuring
Aaron Neville on vocals), and "The Coast" from this year's Montreaux Jazz festival.
The remastering of the tracks is quite nice, sounding better than previous releases
of the same material. But if you already have a Simon hits CD, you can probably
take a pass this time.
In the liner notes, it is mentioned that the next all-new Simon album is due "in the spring of 2003." (15 November 2002)
News: Garfunkel's Everything Waits To Be Noticed Out Now! (updated)
After a long wait, Art Garfunkel released a new CD - one that contains songs composed (at least in part) by Artie, himself! Everything Waits To Be Noticed was released on October 8, 2002, and features collaborations with Buddy Mondlock (composer of folkie favorite "The Kid," which happens to appear on the new CD) and Maia Sharp. Many of the songs feature lyrics culled from Garfunkel's vast collection of prose and poetry - thus landing Artie his first composing credits since the 1960s.
To these ears, this CD is easily Artie's strongest work in many years, and the
interplay between Garfunkel, Sharp and Mondlock is extremely fresh and vital.
Read my longer review in the Discography, where you can also purchase the CD and help support SongFTA.com. Artie is touring to promote the new CD. (13 October 2002)
News: Live In New York City, 1967 Out Now! (updated)
Released in July, Live In New York City, 1967 is a great snapshot of
from their Lincoln Center performance on 22 January, 1967. The recording is
and punchy mastering. Four of the tracks on the CD were previously released
on Old Friends. There are two versions available: a standard jewel case
package and a "Limited Edition" digipak version with holographic artwork. The
CD is the same for both.
Those with sharp eyes will note that the show isn't complete, as "Red Rubber Ball" was included on Old Friends back in 1997. Why was the song omitted? Certainly not for time considerations. I will investigate this and post more info when it becomes available.
Want your own copy? Click here to order the Limited Edition from Amazon and help support this site! (31 July 2002)
Site: Where Has The Time Gone?
It's been a while since I've updated the site. It's been a long winter and spring, with lots going on outside of the website. Also, truth be told, it's been a s-l-o-w time for S&G news. The latest: Paul is touring Europe this summer, Artie is mixing his new album, and the long-awaited S&G live album is now slated for a June release. More on this latter development soon. (12 May 2002)
News: S&G Remasters Out Now (updated)
The long-awaited Simon & Garfunkel remasters were released on August 21, 2001. All five of their studio albums will be re-issued with improved sound (from the 1997 Old Friends remasters, overseen by Bob Irwin), expanded liner notes, and - most importantly for many collectors - bonus tracks. Each CD will feature up to four bonus tracks, most early demos or alternate takes. There is also a box set - The Columbia Studio Recordings: 1964-1970 - that collects all five CDs in one package. Unlike the individual CDs, the box set discs come in mini-LP cover replicas, rather than plastic jewel cases, and the set also includes a book with extensive liner notes and pictures. The cover art for the box is featured on the SongFTA.com home page. You can pre-order any of these titles via Amazon from the Discography page - your purchases help support SongFTA.com!
The bonus tracks for each CD are as follows, and are previously unreleased unless otherwise stated:
Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. - "Bleecker Street" (demo, previously released on Old Friends), "He Was My Brother" (alternate take), "The Sun Is Burning" (alternate take).
Sounds Of Silence - "Blues Run The Game" (previously released on Old Friends), "Barbriallen" (a.k.a. "Barbara Allen," demo version), "Rose Of Aberdeen" (demo version), The Roving Gambler" (demo version).
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - "Patterns" (demo), "A Poem On The Underground Wall" (demo).
Bookends - "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" (B-side to "Fakin' It," previously released on Old Friends and spinoff hits CDs), "Old Friends" (demo).
Bridge Over Troubled Water - "Feuilles-O" (demo, previously released on Old Friends), "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (demo/early take).
Additionally, Sony/Legacy is planning the release of a full, live-in-concert release from Simon & Garfunkel. Live At Carnegie Hall features their full 1967 appearance at Carnegie Hall. While a few songs from this performance appear on the Old Friends set, this set will present the whole show intact. It should be a treat for any S&G fan. (12 May 2002)
News: New Garfunkel Songs Premiered On "Felicity"
Two new Art Garfunkel songs wre premiered on WB TV's "Felicity" during May sweeps. The songs - "Bounce" and "A Perfect Moment" - are performed by Artie, Buddy Mondlock and Maia Sharp. The latter tune was co-written by Artie, the first time such a credit has been cited since the S&G days. Both songs are available online in MP3 format:
A Perfect Moment
It's good to hear Artie sing again, and these songs are a nice "sneak peak" into his upcoming album. (5 June 2001)
News: Brian Wilson To Open For Paul Simon's Summer 2001 Tour
The legendary Brian Wilson and his band (which includes the fantastic Wondermints) will open for Paul's summer 2001 tour. The tour begins June 9 in Seattle, WA, and concludes on July 24 at the Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY.
June 9 - Seattle, WA (The Gorge Amphitheatre)
June 12-13 - Los Angeles, CA (The Greek Theatre)
June 17 - San Francisco, CA (Shoreline Ampitheatre)
June 19 - San Diego, CA (The Coors Ampitheatre)
June 20 - Phoenix, AZ (Desert Sky Pavilion)
June 22 - Las Vegas, NV (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
June 24 - Denver, CO (Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre)
June 26 - Kansas City, KS (Sandstone Aphitheatre)
June 27 - Minneapolis, MN (Excel Energy Center)
June 29 - Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest)
June 30 - Chicago, IL (Tweeter Center)
July 1 - St. Louis, MO (Riverport Amphitheatre)
July 3 - Detroit, MI (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
July 8 - Pittsburgh, PA (Post Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake)
July 10 - Toronto, ONT (Molson Amphitheatre)
July 11 - Buffalo, NY (Darien Lakes PAC)
July 13 - Boston, MA (Tweeter Center)
July 14 - Hartford, CT (ctnow.com Meadows Music Centre)
July 15 - Saratoga Springs, NY (Saratoga PAC)
July 17 - Hershey, PA (Hershey Park Stadium)
July 18 - Philadelphia, PA (Tweeter Center at the Waterfront)
July 20 - Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
July 24 - Wantagh, NY (Jones Beach Amphitheatre)
Paul recently performed at an all-star tribute for Wilson in New York City, and is quoted in USA Today on April 27 as saying "He was singing good, he played bass and piano, and he had an incredible band. " Simon further stated that he thinks "people will probably be interested in seeing this legend. You get a real sense of him as the writer and creator of the Beach Boys. Everybody knows these songs. They've been passed down from generation to generation." (27 April 2001)
News/Rumor: Simon & Garfunkel Remasters Due June 5
The oft-delayed, oft-rumored-to-exist S&G remasters seem to be on.... again! According to ArtGarfunkel.com (Artie's official site), the "expanded edition" versions of the five S&G studio albums are due for this summer. Included will be bonus tracks and expanded liner notes. (5 June 2001)
News: Simon Performs At Brian Wilson Tribute
Paul Simon performed the Beach Boys' classic "Surfer Girl" at a tribute concert to the song's author, the great Brian Wilson, on March 29 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Amongst the other highlights of the concert was a complete run-through of the Boys' and Wilson's landmark Pet Sounds album. Other musical guests included David Crosby, Billy Joel, Elton John and Brian Wilson. (30 March 2001)
News: Simon Inducted Into Hall Of Fame; Texas Shows Scheduled
Back from a long hiatus updating the site - sorry for the delay. As most of you know, Paul was inducted as a solo artist into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His long acceptance speech cited and thanked a number of influences and friends, including Alan Freed, Dick Clark and Art Garfunkel. Simon mentioned that he regrest "the ending of our friendship and hope one day before we die that we can make peace with each other."
Simon also added a string of warm-up concerts in Texas, as a prelude to Simon's appearance on May 4 and 5 at the New Orleans Jass and Roots Festival. The dates for the warm-up tour are as follows:
April 27 - Dallas
April 29 - The Woodlands
May 1 - San Antonio
May 2 - Austin
Please note that Steve Gadd is no longer touring with Paul, as he is currently on the road with Eric Clapton. (30 March 2001)
News: Simon Gets Grammy Nomination For You're The One
You're The One earned Paul Simon a nomination for "Album of the Year" honors from the Recording Academy (formerly NARAS). In a category full of contrasts, Paul is up against some heady competition: Eminem, Beck, Radiohead and Steely Dan. The Grammy awards will be presented on Wednesday, February 21 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (3 January 2001)
Site: ROIO Page Updated
One new addition to the ROIO Page: That's Where I Belong brings the audio portion of the PBS "Great Performances" broadcast of Paul's Paris shows to market more than a month before the official release of the show on DVD and VHS. Two bonus tracks from Paul's "Today" appearance on 6 November are also featured. (13 December 2000)
News: Simon Elected As Solo Artist To Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
In his first year of eligibility, Paul Simon has been elected as a solo artist to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Simon is the fourth inductee to have multiple inductions into the Hall (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Eric Clapton all have two or more inductions). Also in Simon's class of inductees are Aerosmith, Queen, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson (also his second induction) and Richie Valens. Solomon Burke and The Flamingos were elected as early influences, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell was elected in the non-performer category, and James Burton (guitarist for Elvis Presley) and Johnny Johnson (pianist for Chuck Berry) were elected as sidemen.
Paul was first inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1990 as part of Simon & Garfunkel. Frequent S&G and Simon sideman Hal Blaine was inducted last year as a sideman. (12 December 2000)
News: Garfunkel Cancels South American Tour
Art Garfunkel has cancelled his South American tour due to undisclosed reasons, according to his official website. (12 December 2000)
News: Simon Named Rolling Stone Person Of The Year & Wins NARAS Award!
Paul Simon was named a Person Of The Year in issue 856/857 of Rolling Stone. Calling Simon's new work the "return of the great songwriter," the magazine features a short interview. The interview was conducted while Paul was in London, and reveals Paul's "high point" for 2000.
In addition, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) has names Paul Simon as the MusiCares Person Of The Year for his dedication to such charities as the United Negro College Fund, the American Foundation of AIDS Research and the New York Children's Health Project. Simon receives his award in a special ceremony to be held on February 19 in Los Angeles. (22 November 2000)
News: Garfunkel's New Album To Include Garfunkel-penned Songs!
According to The Art Garfunkel Website, Artie's upcoming album (due in 2001) will feature a first: songs written by Garfunkel, himself! Poems from Garfunkel's Still Water collection, as well as other Garfunkel poems, will be used for lyrics on some of the album's songs. This is exciting news, and the album should be a wonderful change of pace from Artie. (14 November 2000)
News: Paul Simon.com Online and Growing Fast!
Paul Simon's official site, Paul Simon.com, is up and running, featuring news, a discography, streaming audio and concert info. Of particular note to fans is the Gallery, which contains treasures like handwritten manuscripts, photos, memorabilia and video clips. A fully-searchable lyric database is also online, in case you ever wondered what songs Paul wrote with the word "moon." Kudos to the Paul Simon.com web team! (14 November 2000)
News: Simon Plays at SNL & Children's Health Fund Benefit - Plus Start of North American Tour!
Paul Simon performed two warm-up shows before launching the North American leg of his tour. He appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live on November 4, performing "Hurricane Eye" and "Old," as well as appearing in a sketch with Charlize Theron, Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan (Ferrell and Kattan played people auditioning to be on-stage dancers for Paul's shows). On November 8, Paul was the headliner for the annual Children's Health Fund gala in New York City. Paul played an abridged set:
1. That's Where I Belong
3. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
4. That Was Your Mother
5. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard
6. Darling Lorraine
8. The Boy In The Bubble
9. American Tune
10. Hurricane Eye
11. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
12. You Can Call Me Al
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon launched the North American leg of his tour in Seattle on Saturday, November 10. Tour info and setlists can be found at Joey Berger's Lasers In The Jungle Tour Page. (13 November 2000)
News: PBS Concert Filmed In Paris For December Broadcast & DVD Release!
Paul Simon filmed his concerts in Paris on October 30 and 31 for broadcast on PBS (U.S. public television) this winter and for sale on DVD this December. According to SongFTA.com friend Nicholas Trokiner, Simon also filmed a "special concert" on the afternoon of November 1, where he filmed additional performances and footage for editing purposes. This third show featured an abridged setlist and 70 "invitation-only" fans in the first four rows of the Olympia Theater. Simon was in a good mood, and really catered this third performance for the fans. He even played a bit of "Anji" when Nicholas yelled out a request.
Simon now heads to the United States and Canada for the North American leg of the tour. He also plays this Saturday on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." (1 November 2000)
News: You're The One Tour Info at Lasers In The Jungle!
In an effort to provide the best coverage of Paul Simon's new tour, SongFTA.com is teaming up with Lasers In The Jungle to provide comprehensive tour info: setlists, reviews, photos, etc. Point your browser to the LitJ YTO Tour Page for more info. (19 October 2000)
News: Garfunkel Reflects On Lennon's Murder In Rolling Stone
Art Garfunkel tells of advising John Lennon on a possible reunion with Paul McCartney in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. The magazine features a long and excellent tribute to Lennon, with commentary from a number of music and entertainment celebrities.
Artie tells of the great tragedy of learning about Lennon's death. The sessions for Scissors Cut were in full swing, but the December 8th sessions were cut short on confirmation of the news of Lennon's murder.
Artie reflected on a mid-1970s meeting with Lennon at the Dakota. John asked Artie what the sessions for "My Little Town" were like, adding that "my Paul [McCartney] has asked me to work with him on a song." Lennon sought advice on whether or not to actually work with McCartney. Not surprisingly, Artie's advice was to go ahead and work with McCartney. As you may have guessed, Lennon didn't take Artie's advice. (17 October 2000)
News: You're The One Number 19 in Billboard Charts
You're The One debuted at number 19 in the Billboard 200 chart, fourth place in the new releases category. Radiohead's Kid A took top honours. Hopefully, sales will stay steady and the chart position will remain strong. (17 October 2000)
News: You're The One Released.... To Rave Reviews!
Paul's new album, You're The One, is out worldwide! The reviews have been very positive, overall, with many critics (myself included) considering this Paul's strongest work since Graceland. If you want the CD and don't already have it, support SongFTA.com and buy it from Amazon.com!.
Some review links for you to peruse:
I'll add more links to reviews as time permits. (5 October 2000)
News: Simon on NBC's Today This Thursday & Friday!
Paul is due to appear on NBC's Today show on October 5 and 6. The Thursday segment is an interview, likely to be held in the second hour of the show, possibly spreading into the new third hour of broadcast. The Friday appearance is a musical performance, outside the show's studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Simon will start playing on-air around 8:30am, and will likely play, off and on, until the show wraps at 10:00am. There is traditionally a soundcheck before the broadcast, from 6:20-6:50am. If you plan to attend the Today broadcast, show up early, as crowds gather early to queue up for the best available spots. Best of all, though: it's free! (3 October 2000)
News: Garfunkel Ponders Fame Without Paul
In late July 2000, Reuters published a short interview article with Art Garfunkel. In it, Artie confronts the idea of fame, and whether or not he would be as famous if not for Paul Simon:
Garfunkel Wonders About Fame Without Simon
LONDON (Reuters) - Art Garfunkel wonders if he would ever have been as
famous without Paul Simon.
"I think about it," said one half of the famous "Bridge Over Troubled
Water" duo who split up almost 30 years ago but have come together for
reunions often tinged with edgy acrimony.
"In many ways, Paul was the engine of Simon and Garfunkel, the driving
force, and I wonder if alone I would have faced the auditions, the
business, the crass wall that one has to break down in order to make it,"
he told Britain's Sunday Telegraph.
And maybe Simon would not have made it without Garfunkel's voice?
"I wonder if he realizes that. That is as close as I am going to get to
any trouble. You will hear nothing else like that. I love Paul," he said.
"I can sum it up in a phrase I know that he likes when John Lennon said
this about Paul McCartney -- We have enriched each other's lives."
All in all, Garfunkel seems quite realistic about how lucky he has been in life. (24 July 2000)
News: Garfunkel Sings at Eric Idle Concert in NYC!
On June 27, Art Garfunkel made a surprise appearance at Eric Idle's "Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python" show at Carnegie Hall. As Idle was winding down his show, he played the opening guitar chords to "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life." To everybody's amazement, Artie strolled out of the wings, microphone in hand, and started into the song he last performed on the soundtrack to As Good As It Gets. Though Artie needed a lyrics sheet to remember some parts, he sang beautifully, exchanging verses with Idle. Artie clearly enjoyed himself on stage, indulging in a bit of British humour with his Python friend. (For Python-heads in the audience, Terry Jones was in attendance and joined Idle on stage for the encore, "The Lumberjack Song." (28 June 2000)
Remaster Rumour: Paul Simon Catalogue Remastering in September 2000?
Thanks to Rob Oudshoorn and a friend of his from Warner Brothers' Japanese wing, SongFTA.com has learned of plans afoot to remaster all of Paul Simon's catalogue, concurrent with the release of his upcoming album. To quote our WB tipster:
'[ ]According to my company (Warner Bros. America), Paul's new album will be released in Sep. and almost at the same time, all his catalogs will be released as remasterd ones. I will let you know if I get further infomations about that.'
If this rumour pans out, it is great news for fans of Simon's solo work who, like me, are somewhat disappointed with the sad remastering job done by WB on his in-curculation catalogue. No word about any bonus tracks, but my guess is that there won't be any to speak of. We'll post more as news comes in. (23 June 2000)
News: An Update on the Whereabouts of the S&G Legacy Remasters
Donald McCarthy's Art Garfunkel Website has an update on the status of the on-again, off-again Legacy Recordings remasters. It seems that the fans will be rewarded with not only superior sound, but bonus tracks! Donald reports that the remastering process for the album tracks is still taking place. He adds, "although this process is nearly complete, a decision has been made to cull Sony's vaults (and other sources) for additional outtakes, new tunes, and/or live versions to be included on each album." As this site has close ties to Mr. Garfunkel, this is not a rumor.
These bonus tracks seem like just what the doctor - and the fans - ordered, and the new discs should be well worth the wait.
The Legacy remasters have proven a turbulent, confusing saga. First the remasters are coming out on 28 March, then 4 April. As Joey Berger reported at Lasers In The Jungle, Legacy Recordings has quietly prepared for the release of an entirely-remastered Simon & Garfunkel catalogue. Label catalogue numbers have been assigned to the following albums:
Bookends (Legacy/Columbia 66003) - CD/CS
Collected Works box (Legacy/Columbia 63815) - CD
Bridge Over Troubled Water (Legacy/Columbia 66004) - CD/CS
Greatest Hits (Legacy/Columbia 66006) - CD and Cassette
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (Legacy/Columbia 66001) - CD/CS
Sounds Of Silence (Legacy/Columbia 65998) - CD/CS
The Graduate Soundtrack (Legacy/Columbia 66005) - CD/CS
Wednesday Morning, 3AM (Legacy/Columbia 65999) - CD/CS
Whether or not these catalogue numbers will remain intact is still undertermined. (23 May 2000)
Paul Simon's New Yorker Interview Reveals Details of New Album, New Song (updated)
On Saturday, May 6, Paul Simon was interviewed by David Remnick, editor-in-chief of New Yorker magazine. For 95 minutes, Simon and Remnick talked about many things, including Paul's songwriting process, his musical roots, his fascination with world music, a little about touring and The Capeman, and, perhaps most importantly, about his upcoming album.
Paul's new album will be out in mid-September, mainly due to "industry pressure" to produce an album. Also, Paul wants to get back on track after the "interesting and educational" experience of The Capeman (read: the cast album isn't likely to see the light of day). Paul noted that the songs for the new albums "came so fast," and poured from his mind and soul onto his favourite composing medium, the yellow legal pad.
"This album is different... it's different," Paul noted. Self-motivation seems to be key to the confidence Paul has with the new work. When he started to become over-analytical with the new songs, then "I think 'oh, don't think - try and be as smart as can be uplifting, don't be negative.'" Paul seems happy with this direction, and is very happy with the musicians appearing on the album.
The real bonus was the first "live" performance of a song from Paul's new album. Paul brought a CD with a "rough backing track" of "Darling Lorraine," a song depicting the cycle of a relationship, from the first meeting to the bitter days of a marriage gone flat. The music is "a lot of guitar pieces strung together," according to Paul, and indeed, the sound is somewhat different from Graceland or Rhythm Of The Saints. The drums are mixed further down into the sonic tapestry, allowing the guitar and other, melodic percussion to take precedence.
Paul sang live to this backing track, his voice in fine shape (sounding better than it has in a long time). The lyric shows a lot of influence from Simon's work with Derek Wolcott on The Capeman, as it is much more narrative than many recent Simon works. Simon is exploring a "more direct approach" to lyric writing (he used "Adios Hermanos" as an example of this style), and the lyric has the additional distinction as one of few Simon songs to be primarily in free verse, with few immediately discernable rhyme schemes (think "America").
Some lyric highlights:
"The first time I saw her
I couldn't be sure"
"I am just a fool in love with darling Lorraine" (this seems to be the refrain for the entire song)
"What? You don't like the way I chew?
I don't need you"
"Financially speaking, I'm a washout"
"Lorraine, her hands like wood
The doctor was smiling, but the news wasn't good"
"Breathing is like an echo of our lives"
The rest of the interview, conducted at the Equitable Center in midtown Manhattan, delved into a lot of information familiar to Simon fans. Paul reminisced about his youth and how he fell in love with music and songwriting. In his early youth, Paul was "interested in nothing but the Yankees [baseball team]," and he really was "not interested in the music I heard around the house." A lot of this music was classical and the popular crooners of the day. The first song he "truly liked" was "Oh Gee" by The Crows. Once hooked to the new rock-and-roll sound, Paul became immersed in doo-wop, and was a regular listener to Alan Freed's groundbreaking rock-and-roll radio show. Paul noted that his father "was horrified," while Paul was "swept by it."
Paul continued by stating that, while some people remember specific actors or athletes, he remembers specific instruments, such as drums and vocal arrangements. For Paul, the sense of hearing "is the most powerful sense." Paul decided to capitalize on his new-found love of music by writing songs. He proceeded to recite the lyrics from "The Girl For Me," his first song that he wrote when he was 12 years old. In those days, Paul noted, the songs were simple, where "the subtext was all of the stuff not being said." He contrasted this with his work on The Capeman, where he consciously tried to be direct with his lyrical style.
The interview continued with Remnick asking Paul about his current approach of letting the rhythm take precedence. Paul says that he started this transformation beginning with "El Condor Pasa" and "Cecilia," though the approach truly came to full force with Graceland. He then pointed out that, while many tracks from Graceland have rhythmic influences from South Africa, that the style is more of a hybrid, containing a lot of Paul's decidedly American roots. He cites the example of using relative minor chords in a lot of the songs, citing that minor chords are not traditionally used in most African music.
Paul then proceeded to answer, yet again, the critics' call that he was "stealing" music and traditions from Africa and South America and trying to pawn off the sound as his own. He made a point that, due to the diversity of cultures in the United States, American music borrows liberally from a number of cultures. Thus, it's easy to find similarities between, say, township jive music and jazz or zydeco. "American music is so diverse," Paul said, "that when you listen to other cultures' music, you say 'that's familiar.'"
The jury's still out as to whether Paul will tour in support of his new album. During the interview, Paul said that he really doesn't like touring, especially the idea of being the "rock icon," a concept he deems as "a bore" and "restricting." He recalled that, during the "Born At The Right Time" tour, while performing "You Can Call Me Al," he came to a sudden moment of clarity.
"What the fuck am I doing?" he asked himself, "and what does the audience think?" Paul said that he often feels like he's going through the motions after touring for more than 20-30 shows, and that he is, first and foremost, "a musician, not a performer." For example, he said that the PaulBob tour was fun for "the first 30 shows" of the 42 in the tour. He feels that performance is not his strong point, and that, given the choice, he would rather write and record quality music than perform on long tours, night after night. Read into this what you will; it doesn't generate much hope for a tour, though.
Paul did have kind words for Bob Dylan, although he made a point of their artistic and performance differences. "Bob's whole thing is.... some other thing," Simon mused. He fondly remembered doing duets with Dylan, especially the fact that Bob didn't always sing the right lyric with the right tune ("'You want to sing that one? No? Well then, okay,'" was how Paul paraphrased one of the confusing moments on-stage with Dylan). However, Paul found it confusing that, although Dylan plays over 150 shows a year, that he did not look as if he particularly enjoyed touring. "If you like it," Paul asked, "then why don't you look like you like it?"
I came away from this interview with two thoughts. First, Paul seems to be licking his wounds well, and getting on with his life as a musician. Second, this "sneak peak" into the new album gives me a lot of optimism that Paul's new work is powerful, different-yet-familiar, and worth the wait.
Note: for those who are wondering whether I was able to record the event, I had planned to do just that. However, Paul's agent asked that, out of deference to Paul's wishes, no taping be allowed. In all fairness to Mssrs. Simon and Remnick, I complied with this wish - I might as well stay in good graces with them, right? By the way, Paul is aware of the fan sites, and seems to approve of them. Thus, I decided that recording the event, after being specifically asked not to, would not be in the best interest of all involved. (15 May 2000)
Simon Inducts Moonglows Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Paul Simon did the honors in New York City on March 6th, as he inducted the Moonglows into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Simon, who cites the Moonglows as an early influence in his career, called the Moonglows' hit song, "Sincerely," an example of "perfect" music. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website, Yahoo News and Wall Of Sound have all the details of the ceremony, including the other inductees (including Hal Blaine, drummer on many tracks from Bridge Over Troubled Water). (8 March 2000)
Garfunkel Cancels Lebanon Concert Over Security Concerns
Art Garfunkel cancelled a concert in Lebanon after recent border skirmishes between Israel and Lebanon, according to a Reuters/Variety report (click here to read the article). 3,500 tickets had been sold for Garfunkel's Beirut show, scheduled for February 12, and promoters are currently working out refunds for all ticket holders. (11 February 2000)
Recording of New Art Garfunkel Album - Update
Infobeat sent a report about Art Garfunkel's upcoming album. The article states that Artie is working on the album at a studio in Orlando, Florida, and is employing producers who have worked with many of today's chart-topping acts (such as Britney Spears and one of Artie's favourites, 'N Sync). He hopes to have the album done by year's end. Here is the text from the Infobeat story:
(Launch) - Art Garfunkel is currently working on a new album, which he said he'd like to have finished and ready for release this year. It may surprise the singer's longtime fans to learn that he's most recently been recording in Orlando, Fla., with many of the same writers and producers who have molded sounds for current teen-pop acts such as the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync and Britney Spears. However, Garfunkel says he doesn't view their creative charge as being much different than his own. "I'm working with a lot of the same people that they work with because a great hook is a great hook," he said. "Rock and roll has not really changed that much through the years. A chorus that really is catchy and memorable is just what it always was. And a record that swings and the rhythm just gets you out of your chair, is essentially what rock and roll is and it's always been that." Garfunkel will take a break from recording to play a weekend of dates in Detroit (Jan. 21), Toledo, Ohio (Jan. 22) and Marion, Ohio (Jan. 23). The singer plans to be back at work on his record by the end of the month.
In addition, Wall Of Sound has a more detailed story on the new album at their site. Click here to read the article.
(21 January 2000)
Art Garfunkel's Antarctic Voyage a Success!
Art Garfunkel has successfully completed a New Year's voyage to Antarctica. Artie, along with members of his band, family, and some high-profile friends (including The Chieftans) sailed through the Drake Passage and stopped the the South Shetland Islands (near the Antarctic Convergence, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean). Artie performed on New Year's Eve, and everybody seemed to enjoy the ride. The voyage was sponsored by the Young Presidents' Organization.
Stuart Breed (Artie's recording engineer) documented the voyage in a journal. The journal is available online from Donald McCarthy's Art Garfunkel Website. (3 January 2000)
My New Year's Surprise
I spent New Year's Eve in Northampton, MA - a wonderful, vibrant music town and center of a lot of developments in the new folk and folk-rock scene. My reason for traveling 60 miles from my home was to attand a wonderful concert performance given by two of the shining stars of the new folk movement in the United States: Dar Williams and The Nields (both well-known products of Northampton and well worth checking out). The concert was wonderful, as both acts shared the stage for virtually the entire, 140-minute show (save for a few times when one act would hold court for a song or two).
"Why," you may ask, "is Rudi mentioning this on a Simon & Garfunkel site?" Well, Dar and The Nields kicked off their show with a wonderful rendition of "Keep The Customer Satisfied." The arrangement was top-notch, with the three vocalists (Dar and the two Nields sisters) doing an over-the-top vocal interpretation of the brass section. I wish I had a recording of this performance (if anybody who reads this was at the show, please email me), as it paid wonderful tribute to S&G and made a wonderful opener for a fantastic show. (1 January 2000)
Paul Simon/Bob Dylan Tour #11 in 1999
The Paul Simon/Bob Dylan ("PaulBob") tour grossed $30.6 million (U.S.), putting it in 11th place for all rock tours in 1999, according to Pollstar. The top-earner for 1999 was The Rolling Stones ($64.7 million), followed by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band ($61.4 million) and 'N Sync ($51.5 million). All in all, not bad for a tour that didn't charge the most (The Stones - $109.62 average price per ticket), make the most per show (Springsteen - $3.4 million), or play the most shows ('N Sync - 121 shows). (29 December 1999)
Paul Simon performance at Paul Griffin tribute
Paul Simon performed on 10 December 1999 at The Bottom Line in New York City. The show, a tribute to session keyboardist Paul Griffin, was an all-star affair, comprising of two shows and featuring a backing band under the direction of Paul Shaffer (The Late Show with David Letterman). Paul Simon performed two songs at the show, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Mrs. Robinson." Both featured unique arrangements, as the whole show was unrehearsed. Griffin played piano for "Bridge," and Simon attempted a jam during the middle of "Mrs. Robinson" - his few bars of "Bo Diddly" met with no response and a laugh from Mr. Simon. A splendid time was certainly had by all. (28 December 1999)
Art Garfunkel performs on Red Cross TV special
Art Garfunkel performed a wonderful rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the Red Cross Chrsitmas Eve TV special (Fox Television). Backed by his touring band, Artie delivered an airy, etherial reading of his trademark S&G song, as images of Red Cross relief workers in flood and hurricane-ravaged areas were projected behind the stage. The arrangement of "Bridge" was typical of recent Garfunkel tours - a variation on the original, not a reworking a'la Simon. Still, it was a wonderful Christmas Eve treat. (27 December 1999)
Paul Simon on Sports Illustrated 20th Century Sports Awards
Paul made an appearance on SI's gala awards show at Madison Square Garden. Backed by musicians from his touring band from the PaulBob shows, Simon delivered a wonderful reading of "The Boxer" as images of landmark boxing matches (many featuring the night's guest-of-honour, Muhammed Ali) were projected behind. Simon's son, Harper, played banjo and sang harmony in the final verse and fade-out. (10 December 1999)
Last updated: 3 May 2006