Friday, June 29, 2007

Keep it Simple, Simon

Paul Simon was all over PBS this week. He's one of my favorite songwriters. He really captures the poignancy and interest of everyday life.

(I guess I have to accept that folk-rock is my favorite genre. Paul Simon, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Carole King. If you can, seek out the album "All Around My Hat" by Steeleye Span.)

There was a big tribute to Paul Simon on last night with James Taylor singing a lot of his songs. Tonight he was on Charlie Rose. (They are doing a really great job keeping Charlie Rose's collar down this year. But I kind of miss his rumpled look. A cute and human foible.)

I'm going to have to paraphrase because I didn't have my stenography machine handy...
Paul said when you start out, it starts out simple. As you study something, it becomes more and more complex. Then you reach a point where it becomes simple again, but you approach it with the complexity you've gained. I thought that was so cool.

The chapter about Paul Simon in a book I have, "Songwriters on Songwriting" by Paul Zollo, tells about the sheer work he goes through to write songs. Pages of crumpled up legal pad. He said something like to write one good song you have to write one hundred bad songs first. (I can't wait for my hundredth bad blog entry. Hoo-boy! After that, look out! : )

So my obviosity is: Success is when you care hard enough to try hard enough.

My old bandmate wanted a song based on an essay she wrote. I'm no Paul Simon, but I sure crumpled up some legal pad. My friend Michele helped me pick out some phrases that had a ring to them and come up with examples and rhymes to fill it in. It took five hours but it was fun. I'll never forget that day.

Mashup I am not going to make: "The Obvious Child" and "Mother Necessity"

Touche Cliche: KISSing is never simple.

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