I’d love to apologise for being too busy to write, but I’m just too sad that I didn’t get to go see Paul Simon.
What makes Graceland one of the best records of all time is a question I’ve often referred back to. The lyrics seem like utter nonsense half the time, so why do I care about the woman with diamonds on the soles of her shoes? Does it matter to me whether he knows the girl from the cinematographer’s party? And will someone please tell me how to make the sign of a teaspoon?
I’ve written songs when I’ve not got much to say and the results are almost universally rubbish. Graceland is clearly different. It’s conversational filler may seem mundane but it makes you feel like you’re having a personal talk with someone. So when you hear the beautiful little gems of insight and emotion, they hit you even harder for it. Almost like the diamonds standing out precisely because they’re in a pair of shoes, not in a box of other diamonds.
I’m gutted he cancelled his Hammersmith Apollo gig, but perhaps it was for the best. I probably don’t want to remember him as a weak and under-the-weather old man. And who am I to blow against the wind?