[caption id="attachment_177942" align="alignnone" width="768"] Photos by Myrna Suarez[/caption] “So I was coming out of my gym,” Paul Simon says, “and I overheard this guy say, ‘Well, should I get extra fries to compensate for the lack of nuggets.’ And I thought, 'What a great question!' What a great existential question to somebody! What a metaphor for everything!” In sunny Beverly Hills to discuss his latest masterpiece Stranger To Stranger, and just days short of his 75th birthday, he graciously discussed the origins of the new songs, and the unprecedented ways in which he challenges himself to create fresh work. Like any savvy songwriter, Simon’s always keen to collect modern yet timeless turns of phrase that sum up the present better than anything. So when he heard the nuggets comment, he knew he had something. And being Simon, he instantly recognized the pleasing sonics of the thing, the funny colloquial equation, and its broader implications. Soon he’d woven it into the darkly comic lyric of the opening song of the album, “The Werewolf.” He’s been finding these metaphors for modern times for a long time now, ever since “The Sound Of Silence” emerged in 1964, surprising both the author and his partner, Art Garfunkel, with its expansive poetics. And ever since, whether in the duo or solo, he’s consistently discovered and crafted remarkable songs over these decades, songs which have expanded our ideas of what songwriting can do. He loves his work. Asked how he maintains such a high standard, he says it’s because he’s “still interested,” and because, “it’s all [he does].” It also stems from his boundless hunger to discover new sounds, new words,... Sign In to Keep Reading
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