Monday, February 5, 2018


I saw Paul Simon in concert once, way back on August 15, 1991 in New York's Central Park. My girlfriend at the time, Lisette, accompanied me, as did two of my Toys "R" Us co-workers, Autumn and Rodney. We got to the park early-ish, but with a huge crowd there already, and ever more people joining in the crush. (While the attendance was stated at the time to be near three-quarters of a million people, 50,000 or so seems much more likely; still, a lot of people.)

I remember the band being terrific. Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints had found Rhymin' Simon incorporating African, Brazilian, and Latin American sounds, rhythms, and musicians into his work, and those musicians brought a lot of energy to the show. Chevy Chase brought some, too; he joined Paul onstage to swing a saxophone and dance (from the video) during "You Can Call Me Al."

Liz and I did our own dancing during the next song, "Still Crazy After All These Years." We ended up leaving the park before the whole performance was over, though we could still hear the music for quite a while as we departed. I still consider this probably the most joyous concert I've ever attended, and if I only see Paul Simon once in my life, I'm glad it was at this show. If you hadn't already heard, he announced today that this coming tour will be his last.

I (and many others) used to poke fun at Simon for sometimes seeming to squeeze too many words and syllables into his lyrics. I found myself doing the same thing on occasion when writing my own songs, so maybe a wee little bit of Rhymin' Simon rubbed off on me. Kudos to you, sir, and to quite the career.


  1. He really is a fantastic stage presence, and always surprised me with that, because he seems rather reserved and perhaps even downcast in interviews and such. It sounds like you had a really memorable concert!

    1. It was certainly memorable. He does come across as reserved and serious a lot of the time, but it's clear that he loves music, and he does have fun with it. (Just look at the smile behind that sax mouthpiece in the picture above!)