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Song For The Asking
ROIO - Recordings Of Illegitimate Origin

Title Live 1967/Chéz
Label Small Talk Records [private label]
Catalog Number STCD002
Source Live 1967: off-air radio or TV broadcast (purported FM-Net 1968 or Syracuse 1967)
Chéz: home cassette recorder (many generations from master)
Performers Paul Simon - guitar, vocals
Art Garfunkel - vocals
Eddie Simon - guitar ("Anji" - Live 1967)
"Debbie" - vocals ("Going To The Zoo" - Chéz)
X-Ref Overs - tracks 1-6, 18
Quality Live 1967: VG+/7.0
Live 1967:
1. Intro / A Poem On The Underground Wall   2:42
2. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her   2:43
3. Overs   3:36
4. Anji (with Eddie Simon on second guitar)   2:24
5. Patterns   3:04
6. The Sound Of Silence   3:38
7. Scarborough Fair   3:12
8. America   3:32
9. Punky's Dilemma   2:15

10. Anji   2:24
11. Introduction to Kathy   2:09
12. Leaves That Are Green   2:39
13. Instrumental #1   3:11
14. Patterns   4:08
15. Instrumental #2   2:20
16. Instrumental #3   1:09
17. Instrumental #4   1:14
18. Kathy's Song   3:33
19. Intermission   1:00
20. Introduction of Art Garfunkel   1:14
21. Benedictus   2:59
22. "Introductions"   0:56
23. The Sound Of Silence   2:05
24. I Am A Rock   3:29
25. Art Garfunkel on the phone   2:55
26. A Church Is Burning   3:54
27. Going To The Zoo (Tom Paxton - Debbie on vocals)   1:07

TOTAL:     69:47
This CD brings together two distinctly different sets: a rather odd (and spirited) live performance from S&G, and the "legendary" Chéz recording from 1965. The fact that both sets appear on the same disc is cause for celebration, as all of the material is very, very fascinating.

Live 1967: This is an off-air radio broadcast (could also be TV) from 1967 or 1968, showcasing Simon & Garfunkel in an odd, "semi-live" environment. All of the vocals on this set are live, with great harmonies. However, some of the tracks - "A Poem On The Underground Wall," "Patterns," "Scarborough Fair," and "Punky's Dilemma" - utilize studio backing tracks, usually the same ones used on the studio albums, and sometimes remixed. This makes for a rather unique live set. However, the vocal performances are first-rate, and highlights abound. Hearing the banter between Paul and Eddie is fun, and the two of them seem to have fun enchanging licks with each other. "America" has a unique vocal arrangement, with Artie and Paul trading off lines for some verses. "Punky's Dilemma" is very playful, with lots of ad-lib vocal bits thrown in, perhaps to try and portray the whole performance as live, to differentiate it from the familiar studio arrangements. This performancs was likely recorded in New York, either in New York City or Syracuse, as Eddie Simon was still based in NYC and didn't regularly tour with Paul and Art.

Chéz: What more can be said about this set? The sound is atrocious, many generations from the master tape (given that audio cassettes were still a new technology in 1965, the sound couldn't have been too great to begin with). The set is rather random, as the tape was made as an "audio letter" to Kathy Chitty, Paul's then-girlfriend, in England. Paul tlaks a lot about his life, shares new songs and some unfinished guitar pieces, has fun, and shares the vocal stylings of Debbie, a neighbor kid who must be all of 5 years old. This tape features one of the earliest performances of "Leaves That Are Green," as well as a personal reading of "Kathy's Song." It's a lot of fun, for what it's worth, a very personal glimpse into the off-stage persona of Paul Simon back when he was just realizing superstardom.

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