Sunday, March 04, 2007

Simon and Garfunkel

Before we start may I recommend this YouTube video for your viewing and audio delight-en-ment ?

Its a clip from the 1975 Grammy awards in which Paul Simon and John Lennon are brought on stage to announce the winner of the "record of the year" which for some strange reason is won by Olivia Newton John for "I Honestly Love You" rather than the far more excellent Maria Muldaur and "Midnight at the Oasis", however there is never any accounting for taste in these award ceremonies.

Paul Simon displays some of his dry, wry humour whilst John Lennon simply bounces around like a twelve week old labrador puppy at a twelve year old childs birthday party, there is repartee a-plenty until it is announced, as in all of these awards, that the winner is not present to accept the prize (why can't they just pick someone else who is there then) and to accept the prize on behalf of Ms Newton John is......Art Garfunkel.

Its painfully obvious from the second that Art walks on stage that he and Paul are going through one of their "I'm not talking to that short-arse-bas'tad / weird-hair-freak" phase and Lennon is loving it, I would not be suprised if it were he who had set the whole scenario up and of course he asks if they will ever get back together again to which Art responds with the sarcastic question "Are you still writing Paul ?", this just after Paul Simon had just had two massive selling albums "There Goes Rhyming Simon" and "Still Crazy after all these Years" to which Paul replies "I'm trying my hand at a little acting Art" a dig at Garfunkels not-so-auspicious fledgling acting career.

Whilst semingly dry and witless, the pair are actually individually quite funny in interviews, I heard Art Garfunkel on the radio in the UK just a few weeks ago and he was very relaxed and seemed quite happy to have the piss taken out of himself and Paul Simon and gave back as good as he got, he stated that one of the reasons that he likes to come to the UK is that he doesn't get asked complex questions about his music and his private life like he often does on US radio stations, instead he can relax content in the knowledge that we prefer our radio presenters to be constantly taking the piss and deflating over-inflated celebrities, nothing is appreciated more in the UK than participation in the national sport of knocking down celebs once we have mounted them on a pedestal - we have proper royalty to bow and scrape to, we don't need up-their-own-arse celebs to do the job too.

Of course in 1970 it was compulsory in this country to posses a copy of the Simon and Garfunkel album "Bridge over Troubled Water", and with a punishment of five years imprisonment and unlimited fines available to magistrates for non-possesion, police forces all over this country were totally pre-occupied with house raids and checking music store records for purchasers addresses, so much so that it is believed by some scholars that the rise of the IRA bombing campaigns on mainland UK during this time was directly as a result of a lack of police resources whilst otherwise engaged on the Bridge Over Troubled Water enforcement.

Bridge Over Troubled Water was the second album that I totally wore smooth in the playing of, the first such album being The Beatles "Abbey Road" and I still have both totally smooth, non-playable black vinyl discs in my possesion, safely packed away now ready for our house move on Friday.

The best track on that album ?

"The Boxer" without doubt, it was an anthem for our times and as a 14 year old kid we sang and hummed the "lie-la-lie" bits constantly to our parents total annoyance even though Simon and Garfunkel, like The Beatles before them were one of only a few "cross-over" artists that were appreciated by both generations - it niggles my kids now that I can easily appreciate "their" music as well as my own - in theory the generations should not share musical tastes and its an indicator of just how poor is the inventivness of the music industry now that two generations can share the same tastes, indeed it goes against all the laws of nature, youth should have its own sound, but nowadays it is simply fed regurgitated stuff from its parents generation believing it to be original - I love pointing out to my kids that "I was listening to that song when I was your age"

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