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HeadlinePaul Simon The New Biography

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Nick
May-10-2018, 18:38 GMT
United Kingdom


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Now that Robert Hilburn's new book Paul Simon The Life is finally out what do we all think of the book.

Got my copy today allredy a fasanating read I await everyone's reviews and comments




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mog
May-10-2018, 19:39 GMT
Canada


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Well, so far, I have read from the Graceland period to the end.

I would give a 7 out 10. I was expecting more. This is not the definitive fan book, but rather for the casual reader out there.

I have not learnt much and find the book light on lots of matters. For instance: the controversy with Los Lobos. Or the breaking of friendship between Walcott and Simon during The Capeman production ? Evacuated in one sentence where Walcott says it should have been all done by Simon, because that was his thing. He only added one word or there, he says. Ok, but wait a minute here...

The most surprising thing for me was about the herbal brew from Brazil that he started to use to freeze the pain during The Capeman debacle and that was still in use around the YTO period (and writing).

The complete fan book remains to be written I guess, or will never be.

The book Homeward Bound published two or three years ago was quite good, although the period covering the most recent albums was butched and expedited at the end.

My dream would be to have a book that has a deep look at all albums, notwithstanding their successes. In short, 'Surprise' covered with the same depht as 'Bookends'.

Finally, as mentioned in other places, there is not much about personal life, that was kept away as much as possible. We do end up with recent pictures of the 3 kids, which I found unecessary. The quality of some recent pictures are not proper for a high league editor.

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Bodo
May-12-2018, 16:38 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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I agree mog. Private is left out..okay. controversies are played down to 1 sentence. A full interview wird Heidi Berg concluded into 1 sentence?...

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mog
May-13-2018, 18:08 GMT
Canada


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Ha ha ! Yes, you summarize it well.

Although, for the Heidi Berg story, it ends very interestingly in Hillburn's book, like: 'was it your intention anyhow to go to South Africa and make some music with these musicians ?'

HB: 'No.'

I am reading backwards. Now, I have completed all Simon solo stuff. I am a bit bored, actually, just wanting to put it on the shelf.

Harper's birth mentioned in one sentence, to come back much later in the book, with euphemisms about his alcool or drug addiction. Ok, I know the book is not about him, but still...how did it change Simon to become a father ? You will almost never find out in Hillburn's book.

This book should not have existed. It seems like it was hard-time to convince Simon of the relevancy to do it...and it does show.

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Bodo
May-17-2018, 01:54 GMT
USA - United Staates America


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Does Paul not reveal much more about his private life back in 1988 when he did the omnibus special? Sitting at his veranda, home... or driving trough his neighbourhood to his childhood house?

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Nick
May-17-2018, 19:00 GMT
United Kingdom


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Have nearly finished the biography. Learnt some new things about Paul but some things not expanded on only brief mention. As I am from Widnes of Homeward Bound fame in England I was looking forward to reading more about his visit to my home town. Alas Victoria Kingston does a better job giving great detail about Widnes and how Paul stayed a week with promoter Geoff Speed and the writing of Homeward Bound.

None the less I found the book interesting with new info in parts. Could have had more detail on subjects but again even Paul himself does not go into detail about things letting his music speak for him.

Would I recommend the book yes for the casual fan but the obsessed who wants more detail might not be for you.

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