Today’s snippet comes from Chapter 15, ‘That’s It, That’s That Groove.’
Paul flew down to Muscle Shoals with Phil Ramone, the hit-savvy producer he had hired to work on the new album, discovering the town’s only hotel, a Holiday Inn, had set its marquee with a large WELCOME PAUL SIMON AND PHIL RAMONE sign. After checking in, they met the Swampers at nearby restaurant for an introductory dinner where they snuck in enough bottles1 for everyone to have a few drinks and get nice and friendly. When the waitress started asked the musicians out which one of them was the star, they pointed to Paul and told her his name. As she absorbed that Jimmy Johnson, a big boy who had curly red hair and a bonus-sized gut beneath his overalls caught her eye and smiled: “And I’m Artie Garfunkel!” When she turned to look her eyes widened. Really? “We all got a big laugh out of that one,” says bassist David Hood. When Paul paid the check a little later he included a tip so generous that the waitress chased him outside with a fistful of bills shouting that he had forgotten all his money on the table.