ome albums just refuse to go away. Sergeant Pepper, Abba's Greatest Hits, Bat Out OfHell. . . butabove all Bridge Over Troubled Water; record stores, jumble sales. the communal flat record collection, even your mum and dad or your Aunt Maisie probably have a dusty copy lurking somewhere. This is hardly surprising. In 1969 alone it sold 14 million copies and became Simon and Garfunkel’s biggest LP, ', not to mention their last. The fact that everyone can remember the

'I words and sing along to the title track twenty two years later, pays tribute to Paul Simon’s '5 talent as a songwriter, and despite the huge

success of his later World Music albums. it is as a writer of epic ballads that many people

hold him in most affection. Well, affection

for the music anyway. Simon himselfhas a L

BThe List 31 May— 13 June 1991

embraced Brazilian rhythms.

reputation for being depressive, arrogant, over meticulous, insensitive to other musicians, overly introspective and self-conscious, and his smile has been called ‘no more than a minute narrowing ofthe eyesf

He does not like performing, and is neither a keen nor a scintillating interviewee. Asked if he remembered anything about writing ‘Sounds of Silence‘, there followed one of the longest pauses in interviewing history, the pen ofthe journalist breathlessly poised. Finally he sighed: ‘No,’ he said. He also became snippy with Sue Lawley when she talked about his age (50 this year).

His rather sullen stage presence has also been criticised but Woody Allen, amongst others, discerned in him a potential comic, giving him a part in Annie Hall and he is also known for his dry or black humour. To the


From a minor hit in the 503 to 46 million record sales by the 905, PAUL SIMON has travelled a long, and occasionally troubled road to superstardom. Gillian Ferguson profiles the 50-year-old who has refused to allow his music to stagnate, and has recently



enquiry, ‘What have you been doing in the years since you last visited Europe?’, he replied, ‘I try to divorce every four years and then I go back to work,‘ referring in this ' instance to his second wife. actor and author Carrie Fisher. He keeps absolute control over his music, with the hired musicians, on the whole. quietly complying. and on the financial side, he has fought for one of the most advantageous royalty deals ever, studied the music publishing business closely and owns the copyright for every one of his songs. ‘Pushy’ is therefore added to the range of derogatory epithets applied to him, but being an admitted perfectionist can’t be easy in a business dominated by the ephemeral and the hyped. Simon often refers to himself as an ‘author’ who suffers deeply depressing writer’s block, and he studies poets like T.S.