“Homeward Bound” trailer #1

Portland radio host/actor/writer/filmmaker/cool dude Mikel Chase is producing some promotional clips about “Homeward Bound,” and here’s the first one…

Homeward Bound
The Life of Paul Simon

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‘Homeward Bound’: When Paul Simon taught songwriting at New York University

In this segment from 1970 Paul starts teaching a songwriting class at New York University and quickly discovers the talents of Maggie and Terre Roche, two New Jersey high school students who auditioned moments before the first class began.

The memo Oppenheim had his staff posted around the arts buildings in late 1969 sketched the specifics. Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel has offered to teach a course in how to write and record a popular song, it began. The class size would be limited and all students would be selected by the instructor. You didn’t have to be an NYU student to be considered, but only practicing songwriters with music and/or lyrics on hand should apply. When a pair of teenage sisters from New Jersey buttonholed him on campus just before the start of the first class Paul steered them into an empty classroom and let them play a few of their original songs, including one that impressed him so much he invited them to stick around for the class, and then Maggie and Terre Roche were in the course, too.
Paul was particularly struck by the Roche sisters. Their song “Malachy’s” had leaped out when they played it during their impromptu audition, and the lyric about weathering a tough set in an upper east side club, rang so true it brought him back to when he and Artie had had to sing above the disinterested crowd at Gerde’s. After the first class he offered to drive them back to the George Washington Bridge bus terminal so they could catch their bus back to the New Jersey suburbs. He was in his sports car that night, a two-seater with barely room for two people and a suitcase, but they all jammed in and as they rumbled uptown he alternated slinging compliments and insults in a way that made Terre think he didn’t like them very much after all. They were pretty good but nowhere near as good as they probably thought, he said. He turned to elder sister Maggie: Did she think she was as good a songwriter as Paul McCartney? She figured she was, and he gave her a sour look. “You’re not.” He dropped them at the station without a goodbye, but when they turned up at the next week’s class he made them know they were welcome.

Rolling Stone calls “Homeward Bound” ‘Definitive.’


#RollingStone’s Andy Greene has weighed in on ‘Homeward Bound’ and wrote really nice things: “”Definitive…Intimate…Carlin has gone deeper than anyone yet.”

The book will be officially published on Oct. 11 (Tuesday!) and you can find it lots of places:

Homeward Bound
The Life of Paul Simon

Buy the Book:

Shocker! Paul Simon recorded a South African-inspired song 25 Years Before ‘Graceland’

With the Tokens’ cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)” riding high on the charts, Paul Simon wrote “Wild Flower,” a curious attempt at exotica that comibned grab bag of Bo Diddley beats, acoustic guitars, a pair of soprano saxes making like snake charmers, and a faux-Hawaiian tribal chant (“Manga-wey-ah-poola-wey/Hada-ma-la-hada-ma-ley/Hey!”) that Paul and the members of Tico and the Triumphs — the young doo-wop group the college-aged Paul had recruited for his new management/production company — came up with in the recording studio.

“Wild Flower” doesn’t quite make it — the Diddley beat is too familiar to power a journey to distant lands — but you can hear what Paul is after, and feel the pulse of what would take him so far and so wide.

Homeward Bound
The Life of Paul Simon

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HOMEWARD BOUND Glimpse: Have You Met Tom & Jerry?


Snippets taken from one of the first articles ever written about Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel, a/k/a Tom & Jerry, a feature in the Forest Hills High School Beacon in the ‘Have You Met?’ series of columns in either January or February of 1958. Written by Phil Gossett, the Tom & Jerry piece appeared on the issue’s front page next to a companion feature on Mrs. Grossman, “…one of Forest Hills’s most energetic English teachers.”

The story also includes the answer to the question: When did Paul Simon first say he would soon retire from the music business? He’d say it again. And again. And again. And…

Forest Hills was first introduced to Tom and Jerry when they sang for the sophomore assemblies two years ago. “We have yet to get as good a hand,” remarked Tom graciously.

Whether they’ve gotten as good a hand or not, we can’t say, but they certainly have gained popularity. In the past month they’ve played in Cincinnati, in Philadelphia on the American Bandstand, in Washington, and in Baltimore. Before the first of January they are to appear on the Big Record.

In Cincinnati, they probably had their most enthusiastic crowd. Jerry laughed out, “I got some letters which say that the girls who wrote them are running away to New York to be with us. They requested directions as to which trains to take. We’re not sure whether we won’t give them to them,” he grinned mischievously.

“Of course, most aren’t as fanatical as this,” added Tom. “Some just ask for incidental things like the color of our shoelaces, or for pictures.”

“Really, the whole craze isn’t too hard to explain,” remarked Jerry. “You know, kids would rather look up to people their own ages than to adults. That’s why we find the audience packed with fourteen or fifteen year olds. As long as they’re not too fanatical, the enthusiasm is healthy. As far as we’re concerned, in all our appearances we have seen nothing done by audiences which has been destructive.”

As for their futures, Tom (Artie Garfunkel) will probably go into architecture as a career. He’s done a good deal of work in mechanical drawing in high school. Jerry (Paul Simon) is interested in law. He’d like to study in the city for two years and then go out of town.

But, rock ‘n’ roll, while giving them both terrific experiences and enjoyment, will play a small part in their future plans.