Paul Simon is undoubtedly one of the most influential and celebrated musicians of our time. From his days as one half of Simon & Garfunkel to his successful solo career, he has captivated audiences with his heartfelt lyrics and unique musical style. While many fans are familiar with his iconic songs and albums, there are some lesser-known facts about Paul Simon that may surprise you. Let’s take a closer look at 10 intriguing details about this legendary artist.
Musical influence from both sides of his lineage:
Paul Simon’s love for music runs in his blood. His father, Louis Simon, was an accomplished musician and bandleader, while his mother, Belle Simon, was an elementary school teacher who loved classical music. Growing up in a household filled with music from various genres, it’s no wonder that Simon developed such a diverse and eclectic musical style.
Paul’s father was very supportive:
Unlike many parents who discourage their children from pursuing a career in music, Paul’s father fully supported his musical aspirations. Louis Simon encouraged his son to pursue his passion, which undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping Paul’s musical journey.
He loved the “effortless” sound of Chuck Berry’s words:
Paul Simon has always been fascinated by the power of words. One of his early influences was the legendary Chuck Berry, whose clever and poetic lyrics resonated with him. Simon admired Berry’s ability to make his words sound effortless, a quality that he aspired to in his own songwriting.
Recording Beats Writing:
While most songwriters find solace in the process of writing, Paul Simon has admitted that he prefers the recording process. He once mentioned that he enjoys the excitement and spontaneity that comes with being in the studio and collaborating with other musicians, rather than solely focusing on the act of writing songs.
Paul got sucked into the business at age 15:
Simon’s deep dive into the music industry began at a surprisingly young age. At just 15 years old, he and his friend, Art Garfunkel, recorded a single called “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name Tom & Jerry. The song became a surprise hit and propelled the duo into the world of professional music.
‘Saturday Night Live’ Where He Met His Wife:
In 1977, Paul Simon appeared on the popular TV show “Saturday Night Live” as both the host and musical guest. It was during this appearance that he met actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who would later become his wife. Their relationship was highly publicized, capturing the attention of fans and the media alike.
Mislabeled as a “serious” person:
Despite his reputation for introspective and reflective songs, Paul Simon has a playful and humorous side. He has often been mislabeled as a “serious” person due to the profound nature of his lyrics, but those who know him well describe him as witty and quick with a joke.
The BBC Nixed ‘Kodachrome.’:
Paul Simon’s hit song “Kodachrome” was initially banned by the BBC due to its reference to a brand name. The BBC had strict rules against promoting commercial products, leading them to censor the song. However, they eventually lifted the ban, allowing audiences to enjoy this beloved track.
Bob Dylan Hurt His Feelings:
In the early years of his career, Paul Simon looked up to Bob Dylan and admired his songwriting skills. However, when they finally met, Dylan made a dismissive comment about one of Simon’s songs, which deeply hurt his feelings. Despite this incident, Simon continued to forge his own path and create his unique musical legacy.
An Unconventional Inspiration for “Bridge Over Troubled Water”:
Came from a source that may surprise many fans. The inspiration behind this timeless ballad was actually a gospel group called The Swan Silvertones. Simon was captivated by their emotional and soulful performance during a concert he attended in New York City.