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Quotes of the day: Paul Simon

Published Sunday, October 12, 2014 @ 10:20 PM EDT
Oct 12 2014

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott.

Simon has earned 12 Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named Simon as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. Among many other honors, Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007. In 1986, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

Faith is an island in the setting sun,
But proof is the bottom line for everyone.

I believe it's no good to talk about your songs; it's wrong. You should leave your songs alone and let them say what they say; let people take what they want from them.

I get all the news I need from the weather report.

I'm more interested in what I discover than what I invent.

Improvisation is too good to leave to chance.

In terms of quality of work, experience is an advantage. But when the whole culture changes its value system, as ours has been doing, you can evolve in a way that's appropriate for your age and still wind up as an artifact.

It's actually very difficult to make something both simple and good.

Much of songwriting is simply a mystery.

Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.

One man's ceiling is another man's floor.

Sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.

The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.

We work our jobs, collect our pay; believe were gliding down the highway when in fact, we're slip sliding away.

When I look back on all the crap
I learned in high school,
It's a wonder
I can think at all.
(lyrics, Kodachrome)

(October 13 is also the birthday of Lenny Bruce.)

Categories: Paul Simon, Quotes of the day


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