In October of 1988, Paul Simon released Negotiations and Love Songs, a collection of greatest hits from his first six solo albums (Paul Simon through Graceland). In support of the compilation, Paul stopped in to record this interview with Scott Muni in Manhattan to discuss every song on the album. As such, this recording provides a wonderful encapsulation of some of his most highly respected songs from the mouth of the writer himself, including insights into the lyrics, inspirations for the musical compositions, and stories behind the recording sessions. While the chat focuses mostly on these songs, there are also great stories about some of his earliest musical influences, his high school years with Art Garfunkel, and his current charity work.
00:00 - Intro / Negotiations and Love Songs01:22 - Preference for the sound from vinyl over cassettes and CDs04:11 - A video for "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" (who's in it, where)05:25 - Introduction to "Me and Julio"06:08 - Segue into "Mother and Child Reunion"07:15 - "Mother and Child Reunion" (going to Jamaica)08:02 - "Why Don't You Write Me" / borrowing lines from old songs / ska09:10 - "Mother and Child" / Roy Halee, Toots and the Maytalls, learning what reggae is10:04 - "Me and Julio" / Brazilian percussion, world beat10:44 - Hearing about ska in England in the 60's / Lonnie Donegan12:15 - A hurricane in Jamaica / the New York Children's Health Project15:55 - Charity concert for the Children's Health Fund / challenges for the future18:15 - Intro to "Something So Right" (a strange way to befriend Quincy Jones)22:36 - Intro to "St. Judy's Comet"
00:00 - Graceland / how he approaches albums01:35 - Recording There Goes Rhymin' Simon / The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section03:38 - Intro to "Loves Me Like a Rock" / The Dixie Hummingbirds04:45 - Intro to "Kodachrome" / trademarking07:10 - Working with Allen Toussaint 08:32 - The city of New Orleans and its music10:46 - The effect of television and industry on music: dilution of culture12:10 - Finding culture as a kid from Queens / reminiscing about wholistic radio13:40 - Elvis Presley's great contribution to music15:00 - Alan Freed's great contribution to music (and to Scott)17:33 - Intro to "Ain't That a Shame" / Pat Boone and Fats Domino19:48 - Intro to "Have a Good Time" / Shampoo, music school, Phil Woods' solo22:05 - Intro to "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" / Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Richard Tee, Eric Gale24:35 - Reaction to winning a Grammy25:38 - Intro to "Still Crazy After All These Years" 26:48 - Reluctance to being called a poet / writing lyrics / Chuck Berry's influence29:26 - Aural memory's effect on emotion
00:00 - Covers of "Hazy Shade of Winter" / other covers01:50 - Intro to "Late in the Evening" / Buddy Holly and the Crickets03:53 - Old records / singles vs. albums05:05 - Early influences: doo-wop, gospel06:47 - Tom & Jerry (Simon and Garfunkel) at age 14 / high school heroes08:22 - Art's influence on Paul's career / his dad's influence 09:48 - A session with the Everly Brothers (individually)10:50 - The folk scene in the 1960's: Bleecker and MacDougal, move to England, Bob Dylan14:45 - Intro to "Slip Slidin' Away" / The Oak Ridge Boys16:00 - Intro to "Hearts and Bones"18:40 - Intro to "Train in the Distance"20:14 - Intro to "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War"22:40 - Intro to "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" / Youssou N'Dour24:25 - Accolades and awards for Graceland / approach to the album27:22 - Intro to "You Can Call Me Al"29:50 - Thank you / outro
Part 4: Outtakes
00:00 - Taking over Alan Freed / a retirement home for rock n' rollers02:05 - Influences on current music, Bruce Hornsby, hearing new acts04:32 - The obscuring of 50's music / The Stray Cats06:05 - Reminiscing about John Lennon07:39 - Old records / doo-wop10:05 - Keeping Negotiations and Love Songs narrowly focused11:05 - Leaving CBS Records / a fight with Walter Yetnikoff11:55 - The Concert in the Park
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