It would be hard to find an obituary of Phil Ramome, the famed producer who passed away last weekend, without the name Paul Simon turning up. Ramone helped define Simon’s sound as a solo artist having produced 1973′s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, 1975′s Still Crazy After All These Years and 1980′s One Trick Pony – a trio of exceptional albums that are far different from each other.
At a recent show in Australia, Simon took a moment to pay tribute to his close friend and collaborator as a lead-in to Slip Slidin’ Away. Paul has shared pro-shot video of the dedication and the song…
This Saturday a special fundraiser will take place at Matrix Conference and Banquet Center in Danbury, Conn. that will end with a performance featuring legendary singer/songwriter Paul Simon, Yankees great Bernie Williams and salsa star Frankie Negron. Williams will host the event, his annual “Speak Out Against Hunger” fundraiser, which will benefit HILLSIDE FOOD OUTREACH, a 501c3 nonprofit that provides food for those in need throughout Fairfield, Putnam and Westchester Counties.
The event will also see a small reunion of 1996 World Champion New York Yankees as Williams will be joined by David Cone, Tim Raines and Cecil Fielder. Here’s more info via Bernie’s website…
The event will start at 6PM with a cocktail reception that includes an opportunity for a private picture taking session with Bernie and David Cone. There will be a gourmet dinner, silent and live auction, and an up close and personal Q & A interview session with Williams, Cone, Raines and Fielder moderated by WFAN Yankee Beat Reporter Sweeny Murti. This will be followed by musical performances by Paul Simon, Frankie Negron and Bernie Williams. For tickets please visit Hillside Food Outreach website at www.hillsidefoodoutreach.org. or www.bernie51.com TICKETS WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. For more information please call the Hillside Food Outreach office at 203-702- 4882.
Today marks UN Day, aka the 67th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations Organization. To celebrate the occasion, the UN has put together a concert called “A Message For Peace featuring Stevie Wonder” which will take place tonight between 7PM and 9PM ET in the General Assembly Hall at UN HQ in NYC. The concert will be webcast live BELOW and then will be broadcast on a slew of TV stations including Palladia, BET and VH1 Classic on February 23rd at 7PM ET.
Stevie has called upon a slew of his famous friends to perform with him tonight including Sting, Paul Simon, Wyclef Jean, Elle Varner, Bebe Winans, Susan Sarandon and Malcolm Jamal Warner.
The stars came out in force at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Thursday night for the Children’s Benefit Concert to benefit Paul Simon’sChildren’s Health Fund. Joining Simon in performing at the famed venue were Stevie Wonder, Steve Martin, Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, Aaron Neville, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson as well as a slew of famous presenters including Oprah Winfrey, Tina Fey, Spike Lee and Hillary Clinton.
The emotional high point of the night was when Paul Simon brought out his daughter Lulu who sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and for a duet with her father on the fitting Father and Daughter. Simon also sang You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly with wife and Lulu’s mother Edie Brickell, performed Late In The Evening with Ruben Blades, Sting singing Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better with wife Trudie Styler that even referred to their tantric sex sessions and a Loves Me Like A Rock finale that featured Sting, Stevie Wonder, Aisha Morris, Vince Gill and James Taylor.
We came across a number of videos from this fantastic evening…
Queens native Paul Simon played his first hometown “club gig” in a long time on June 6, 2011 at Manhattan’s Webster Hall. By the time his two hour-plus set was through, he had given the intimate crowd a taste of each period of his illustrious career during a show that is remembered as a highlight of 2011 for many in attendance. The show was recorded in superb high-definition by director Martyn Atkins and was released last week along with sterling audio mixed by Phil Ramone and Andy Smith as Paul Simon Live In New York City.
Available in three formats (2-CD/1-DVD special package, Blu-Ray and Standard DVD), Paul Simon Live In York City is a fantastic document of an unforgettable night. Simon’s band had been on the road for two months straight and were at the peak of their powers. This one bears repeated listens/views as with so many incredible musicians on stage, and Paul’s well-known attention to detail in his live performances, you’ll find nuances you didn’t pick up on the first time around. Many of the big hits from Simon’s solo career including Late In The Evening, Kodachrome, Diamonds On The Soles and Slip Slidin’ Away are here as well as the best tracks from 2011′s So Beautiful Or So What LP such as the title track, Rewrite and Dazzling Blue. There’s even a pair of Simon & Garfunkel classics in The Only Living Boy In New York and Sounds Of Silence.
As part of our Everybody Wins When We Plug Something And In Return They Offer Us Free Shit To Give Away program, we’ve got a copy of the Paul Simon – Live In New York City 2-CD/1-DVD Special Package for two lucky readers. Simply leave a comment below telling us about your favorite Paul Simon song. We’ll pick two entries at random at 3PM ET on October 7th. You can enter a second time by leaving a similar comment on the Hidden Track Facebook Page and a third time by following @hidden_track and tweeting the name of your favorite Paul Simon song at us. You must include both @hidden_track and #htpaulsimon in your tweet.
Here’s the fine print…
To enter, leave a comment below telling us your favorite Paul Simon song
In 1974 Paul Simon was finally starting to separate himself from Art Garfunkel after Simon & Garfunkel broke up in 1970 on the back of two critically and commercially acclaimed albums in his self-titled 1972 debut and 1973′s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. On September 5th, 1974 Simon visited ABC late-night program The Dick Cavett Show and Cavett wisely devoted most of that evening’s program to the Queens native.
All in all Paul Simon performed four songs over the course of the hour-long program starting with a solo version of the tender American Tune from There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. Then, Cavett talks to Simon about Paul’s songwriting process and as an example Paul shows Dick a new, as-of-yet uncompleted tune called Still Crazy After All These Years that would turn out to be the title track of his next album. For his final two songs of the show, Loves Me Like A Rock and Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon was backed by gospel singing group The Jessy Dixon Singers. A new rip of the original broadcast just surfaced thanks to YouTuber gohjazz5 that we wanted to share…
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from dealing with musicians, it’s that just because you make good music that doesn’t doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good person. Back in 2006 Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist Steve Berlin filled JamBase in on the band’s participation in the recording sessions for Paul Simon’s legendary Graceland LP. Berlin accused Simon of stealing songs from Los Lobos and still hasn’t backed off from that position in a new interview with Rock Cellar Magazine.
Berlin went into detail about Los Lobos’s experience with Simon and the process by which the legendary singer-songwriter allegedly “stole” Graceland track The Myth of Fingerprints. When the members of Los Lobos saw that Simon took credit for their song, they approached their label (Warner Bros.) and Paul who, according to Berlin, dared them to sue him. When asked whether Los Lobos ever received a penny for their participation in Graceland, Berlin didn’t mince words…
RCM: So to this day, Los Lobos has never received a penny for your work on Graceland?
SB: Zero. Zip. We got nothing for being a part of that record. I think it’s important to point out that not only did we never get a penny for it, but they didn’t even pay us union payments. In closing, everybody I know who has ever worked with Paul Simon says he’s the biggest jerk in the world. Yeah – he’s a fucking idiot.
On the other side of things, Berlin had nothing but praise for Levon Helm…
RCM: In contrast to Paul Simon, can you name an artist you truly admire?
SB: Levon Helm. We were part of his last performance and played with him at his barn at the Ramble just two weeks before he died, back in April. He asked to see us before the show and I have to say he did not look well. It was scary how ill he looked, but then he went out and absolutely crushed it! He was amazing that night and played his fucking ass off! Everybody, all of us thought, “My god this guy’s incredible!” And who knew it would be his last performance. I knew he had been sick and that he’d had good days and bad days, but none of us felt that he was that close to the end, certainly, based on the way he played that night.
Last month rock legend Paul Simon surprised a crowd at B.B. Kings in NYC when he emerged to sing The Boxer with Jerry Douglas and his band – a song which the dobro master recorded with Simon and Mumford and Sons for his latest album, Traveler. Well on Sunday night Douglas returned the favor when he joined Simon and his band for a take on the Simon & Garfunkel classic in London’s Hyde Park at Hard Rock Calling 2012. We found a great clip of the guest spot…
Earlier this week Paul Simon kicked off the Graceland 25th Anniversay Tour in Dublin. For this tour Simon combines both his current touring band with nearly every living member of the group that went on the road with him for the famed Graceland World Tour in 1987. Each performance starts with Paul and his current band tackling songs from throughout his solo career before Ladysmith Black Mambazo comes out to sing a few of their songs. Then, after Homeless, Paul returns with the Graceland band, accompanied by LBM, to play a selection of tunes from the classic album.
For a taste of the Graceland 25th Anniversary Tour, here’s Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the original Graceland Tour Band’s version of Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes…
Fans attending dobro master Jerry Douglas’s New York City gig at BB King’s on Friday night were treated to a surprise appearance from local hero Paul Simon as the legendary singer/songwriter emerged to sing The Boxer with Douglas and his band. Simon and Mumford & Sons both guest on a studio version of The Boxer which can be found on Douglas’s latest album, Traveler.
According to a report in Rolling Stone, Paul was so impressed by Jerry’s band that he told the crowd “A musician like Jerry should be surrounded by extraordinary musicians. And that certainly is the case tonight.” For his part, Douglas was thrilled to share the stage with Simon and sharing a sentiment many in the crowd probably felt said, “That actually happened. That wasn’t a flashback.”
If you’re a huge fan of Paul Simon and his seminal Graceland LP like we are, 2012 will be a banner year as the legendary singer/songwriter is pulling out all the stops to commemorate the album’s 25th anniversary. Not only will Simon celebrate the anniversary by pairing up with many of the original musicians who performed on the album for a tour, he’s also put together a 25th anniversary edition of the album, which is available in a number of different packages. Each set includes a remastered version of Graceland, a disc featuring demos, alternate versions and an interview as well as a copy of the documentary film Under African Skies.
Under African Skies tells the story behind the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists. Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (“Brother’s Keeper,” “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” the West Memphis Three/”Paradise Lost” trilogy), UAS features interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel.
As part of our Everybody Wins When We Plug Something And In Return They Offer Us Free Shit To Give Away program, we’ve got a pair of tickets to see a screening of the Paul Simon documentary: Under African Skies at The Ziegfield Theatre in New York City on June 5th at 7:30 pm. To enter our contest, simply leave a comment below telling us about your favorite Graceland track. You can enter a second time by leaving a similar comment on the wall of the HT Facebook Page and a third time by following @hidden_track and tweeting the name of your favorite Graceland tune (be sure to include both “@hidden_track” and #HTgraceland” at the end of your tweet so that we see it). The contest entry period closes on Friday, May 25 at 11:59PM ET. After that, we’ll tally all the entries from our comments section, Facebook and Twitter and pick one winner at random.
Here’s the fine print…
To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us which Graceland track is your favorite
You can enter a third time by following @hidden_track and tweeting about your favorite Graceland track (be sure to include both “@hidden_track” and #HTgraceland” at the end of your tweet so that we see it)
Your comment(s) must be left by 11:59 PM EST on May 25
Anybody entering more than once a piece on Facebook, Twitter and at the bottom of this post will be disqualified, tarred and feathered
One winner will get a pair of tickets to attend the Under African Skies screening at The Ziegfield Theatre in New York City on June 5th at 7:30 pm
Back in January we shared the trailer for Under African Skies – a new documentary about the making of Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album and the lasting influence it’s had over the past 25 years. Following the film’s Sundance premiere and a limited theatrical release on May 11 in New York and Los Angeles, the Joe Berlinger-directed flick will make its television debut on A&E this spring.
In April, Brooklyn Bowl will host a weekly residency featuring jam-fusion act Kung Fu. Starting on April 9 and running each Monday through the 30th, The Bowl Sessions will see Kung Fu team up with different support acts from a variety of genres each week. Of particular note, the band will welcome Wyllys and The New York Hustlers on the 9th and Jon “The Barber” Gutwillig will guest during Kung Fu and Damn Right!’s interlocking sets on the 23rd. Head over to JamBase for complete details.
In other news, Paul Simon has announced a batch of Graceland 25th Anniversary dates featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Unfortunately for us on this side of the Atlantic, each show will take place in Europe. The tour kicks off on July 12 in Dublin and runs through a July 26th performance in Bergen, Norway.
Finally, Krautrock pioneers Can have just announced a new box set called The Lost Tapes featuring three CDs worth of previously unreleased material. The set, containing both live and studio tracks, will hit stores on June 19th. Here’s a taste of Millionenspiel, which opens The Lost Tapes…
Over the past five-plus years we haven’t hid our appreciation for Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland LP, so we were overjoyed when word came down that the Rock Hall of Famer would celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary by teaming up with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other artists who performed on it to play Graceland in its entirety. Today, the first of these Graceland gigs has been announced as Simon will headline Sunday at the 2012 Hard Rock Calling festival in London’s Hyde Park on July 15.
It was also announced that reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff will join Paul Simon for a portion of his Hard Rock Calling set. Other acts set for the festival include Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, John Fogerty and Lady Antebellum. Tickets for Sunday’s performances go on sale this Friday, March 23, at 9AM local time. Here’s hoping U.S. Graceland dates are on their way.
In other Graceland-related news, Joe Berlinger’s documentary about the making of the album and Simon’s return to South Africa won the SXSW Audience Award.
It’s safe to say that Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland is near and dear to a lot of folks’ hearts around HT headquarters. The landmark album was considered somewhat of a “comeback” record for the legendary singer-songwriter, who was coming off the disappointment of 1983′s Hearts & Bones, which at the time had many considering if Simon’s best days were already behind him. The Queens native answered those skeptics in a resounding way, with an album that helped to introduce the poly-rhythmic sounds of South African Soweto and world-beat music to a global audience and in the process took home Grammys for both album and record of the year as well as went five times platinum in the United States, and sold some 14 million copies worldwide.
The album was a bit of a controversial undertaking at the time as Simon recorded a good portion of Graceland in South Africa which was still under apartheid rule. While Simon faced accusations that he had broken the cultural boycott of the country, with some critics feeling it impeded progress towards abolishing South Africa’s system of racial segregation. This was not the view of the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee who supported Simon’s use of local black musicians. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the album, which is the subject of a new the documentary Under African Skies, a film that chronicles the making the the record, the subsequent tour, which lasted five years, and Simon’s return to South Africa last year. The movie, which recently premiered at Sundance, will receive a limited theatrical run and air on A&E this spring and will also be included as part of the 25th anniversary Graceland box set. Let’s check out the trailer…