WFUV-FM Interview

WFUV-FM, the public radio station out of Fordham University, was always my favorite stop on the FM dial, so it’s a real treat to be back on their air with this interview about Paul Simon and Homeward Bound. Listen up. Blutarsky: “It don’t cost nothin’.”

Carrie Fisher’s passionate connection with Paul Simon

Actress Carrie Fisher.

Actress Carrie Fisher.

They fell for each other at something close to first glance, and glommed together like two parts of the same baubled and brilliant whole. Fractious parts, to be sure. Carrie Fisher was 15 years younger than Paul Simon, and both were neurotic and willful to the extreme. When they fought, which was not rare, the rage — fueled as much by their own insecurities as by any real distaste for each other — hit their Central Park West penthouse like one of “Ghostbusters”‘s brick-smashing demons. Walls collapsed, crockery took wing, clouds of evil boiled over the skyline. Then just as quickly, she’d blurt out something, their eyes would meet and then…

“I not only don’t like you,” she screamed at him in the middle of one particularly explosive encounter. “I don’t like you personally.” The bizarre assertion ended the fight on the spot — they were both laughing too hard to snarl anymore — but the peace was, once again, short-lived.

Their love was just as combustible. Paul and Carrie were almost exactly the same size, and their bodies fit together so naturaly that if they weren’t holding hands or draping arms over each other’s shoulders, they were squished up together on the sofa, more or less on top of each other. Carrie added velocity to his life, a kind of wild energy that often set him alight and sometimes made him scream…

The married in the summer of 1983, only to divorce the next year. Reunited a few months later they continued their post-marital romance until 1989 after a joint trip to Brazil, where Paul was working on the music that would become his wonderful Rhythm Of the Saints album. Memories of Carrie hover over the album. Paul reveals his lost lover in all her ecstasy, her gloom and her puzzling mood swings. He ventures into her troubled soul and emerges scarred and anguished.

She says “maybe these emotions are
As near to love as love will ever be”
So I agree

Then the moon breaks
She takes the corner, that’s all she takes
She moves on.

For more about Carrie and Paul read People Online‘s encapsulation of the relevant sections from my book, Homeward Bound:The Life of Paul Simon.


The Ballad of Zephyr, Portland’s Most Legendary Dog

Captured live at the BackFencePDX storytelling main stage, it’s Leather Storrs, the owner/chef of Portland’s perpetually hot Noble Rot wine bar/restaurant and myself jointly telling the story of Leather’s childhood dog Zephyr, who I knew when I was a student at Lewis & Clark College in the early ’80s. Leather and I didn’t meet until twenty years later, but Zephyr changed both of our lives. Sort of. I mean, not really. But he was an amazing dog, that’s for sure.



Homeward Bound: An All-Star Tribute to Paul Simon at PDX’s Mississippi Studios, Dec 20, 2016


Here’s the pre-holiday event of 2016: A full night of Paul Simon music performed by a dozen (or more) of Portland’s best musicians! The (cool) poster reveals only a slice of the line-up…here’s the full list.

Sarah Gwen w/ Scotty Weddle
Kasey Anderson
Casey Neill
Jaycob Van Auken
Scot McCaughey
Ashleigh Flynn
Kevin Cradock
Jim Brunberg/Wonderly
Luz Elena Mendoza
Rebecca Gates
Kathryn Claire
Silver Ships

Advance tickets are $8 and going fast! You can get yours RIGHT HERE

#Sarah Gwen
#Jim Brunberg

Video break: Carlin-Guralnick-Wald:The Music Writers’ Summit at Vanderbilt University

vanderbilt-posterOne of the great experiences of the year for PAC, and here it is captured on video: The full 90-minute discussion on Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, with the great Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick, Dylan biographer Elijah Wald and hotshot history professor Jefferson Cowie.