‘Homeward Bound’ in Newsweek

sosgroovey
Nearly everything you want to know about Paul Simon’s immediate reaction to the electrified “Sound of Silence”‘s leap to the top of the charts — most of which took place when he was living and performing in London — will be published in a Homeward Bound excerpt to be published in the October 28, 2016 issue.

Here’s a sneak peek!

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/28/simon-and-garfunkel-sound-silence-homeward-bound-511391.html

 

 

 

 

 

Homeward Bound
The Life of Paul Simon

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Nobel Special: When Bob Dylan laughed at Simon & Garfunkel

bob-and-paul

When Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature on Paul Simon’s 75th birthday it’s fun to remember how linked their careers have been over the years. Along with the same record label, producer and musical backdrop they also shared a reflexive suspicion, even antipathy, for one another. Paul would go on to criticize Dylan regularly during the 1960s, most memorably in his sarcastic homage, “A Simple Desultory Philippic,” recorded first for his UK solo album The Paul Simon Songbook, then re-recored for Simon & Garfunkel’s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Here’s part of the reason why:

The night before the final recording session, Paul and Artie played their first scheduled show at Gerde’s Folk City. It was their first major appearance since they started recording for Columbia and to stir up excitement (Columbia producer) Tom Wilson rallied some of his hipper friends and colleagues to the show. The producer was there, of course, as was Barry Kornfeld and some of his living room regulars. But the real prize was Bob Dylan himself. He came a little late, perching at the bar next to the influential New York Times music critic Robert Shelton. They’d had a few drinks. Maybe they’d blown a little grass. Whatever, he was laughing. Hand in front of mouth, head down, shoulders heaving. Haw-haw-haw, ohmygod. And you could hear it. Paul and Artie played in a hush. One guitar, two voices and delicate strands of melody and harmony. The power was as much between the notes as in the notes themselves and it begged close listening. And everyone knew that beaky high plains honk.

Haw-haw!

In a career whose every twitch and twang has been anatomized for personal, literary, political and Biblical magnitude, the meaning of that Dylan guffaw remains cloaked in mystery. Shelton went to his grave insisting that the laughter — he was giggling too, only more quietly — had nothing to do with what was happening on the stage. That whatever had spurred the giggle fit was completely detached from Paul and Artie’s performance. It was just bad timing that whatever they were talking about, and Shelton never identified what it was, had popped their corks.

But there was more to Shelton’s story. Dylan and Paul had met for the first time only days earlier, and the encounter had gone badly. Despite having so much in common, including extended visits with the same folk musicians in London, Paul and Dylan couldn’t find anything to say to each other. So they traded the smallest of small talk. Neither pretended to be delighted, or even all that interested, in meeting the other.

Oh yeah, how’s it going, I heard you were around, you’re Kornfeld’s friend, right? So, yeah. Hi. Okay.

Then back to their separate corners, separate friends and separate visions of the world and their rightful position within it. And maybe it was the same place. And maybe there was only room for one of them. Which may be why Shelton described that fast-approaching night at Gerde’s as “an encounter typical of New York’s paranoia and instant rivalries.” Which makes his claims of innocent snickering seem a wee bit less convincing.

Homeward Bound
The Life of Paul Simon

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“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

ps-1970
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.
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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.’

rs-review

#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

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