Monday 16 December 2013

There Goes Signin' Simon

Cover photo (probably) not taken at Grimsby Docks
Today's offering writes itself: Roger Busby, musician and Sun Inn regular, met Paul Simon in Grimsby - a town better known for its fishing and maritime industries than its connections with music legends. Rog takes up the story:

"Paul Simon was playing his second gig at Grimsby Folk Club in the winter of 1965/66. I was 18 at the time and Paul would have been 23. I was sharing a flat in the town with work colleague and friend, Bill Johnston, and we had been regulars at the club for about a year at that time. During the break we got chatting with Paul and asked him where he was staying that night - he said that he didn't know (although it was the custom at the time for the club organisers to arrange a bed at someone's house) so we said why not stay with us? Bill had a VW Beetle at the time so imagine four of us plus Paul and his guitar crammed into that!
 Signin' Simon
We had an hour or so chatting and listening to music and he was telling us about how his US record company had dubbed electric guitar, bass and drums onto an acoustic track of The Sound of Silence that he'd recorded with Art Garfunkel and had released it as a single. 'It looks like it's starting to sell' he said, 'so I may have to go back.' Of course it went to # 1 in America and started the whole Simon & Garfunkel phenomenon. We had to get him up very early next morning to catch the milk train back to London and he wasn't the best of early risers. However, I did ask him to sign my copy of the Paul Simon Songbook which was, together with an acoustic EP with Garfunkel, the only recording available at that time. He signed it 'To Bill and Rog, thank you for the bed, the meal and the conversation.' I still have it to this day."

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