The neck of my Guitar

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HeadlinePaul Simons music archive

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Feb-07-2017, 21:08 GMT

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Not much information, just interesting what this archive might be include? I guess it is all about master tapes, maybe also all live recordings (I think they record everything and keep it). That is a lot...at least 1500-2000 live shows and all the masters from studio works.

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  [Like] 1 Brenda Brenda
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Mar-03-2017, 19:46 GMT
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I'd be interested in reading this article if someone can copy if for me. I used to work for Paul, cataloging all of his tapes up until about 1987. I was working as a freelance tape librarian calling myself the Tape Librarian To The Stars. Worked for him from 1984 -1987. All his tapes (audio and video) were in a warebouse in Ft Lee NJ, a place called Bonded Storage. I organized them all into chronological order and then wrote all the take info on index cards. Towards the end I co-designed a database for this sort of thing but they didn't buy it. (They were using one made by someone else at the time as well as using what the Hit Factory's library was using.)

I have some notes that people here may enjoy. Nothing from them, only my notes. (Well, one printout of songs they gave me when I started which I added to.)

I'd be happy to try to answer whatever questions people have but it was a long time ago.


John L

  [Like] 1 Bodo Bodo
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Mar-05-2017, 02:57 GMT

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Would love to hear your impressions of what's out there - how extensive was Paul's collection at that point? Lots of live performances? You get the impression there isn't much studio material that never saw the light of day, though things like the H&B demo tapes (source of three outtakes on the re-issues last decade) suggest there's some interesting stuff. Was it decent quality audio stuff? Any video to note?

The announcement of the plans for Lou Reed's archive - all of it to be made available at the NY Public Library - would be a really great model for Paul's material when the time comes...

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Mar-05-2017, 02:57 GMT

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Oh and that article had zero information on PS other than the fact that the guy they were profiling has a contract or mandate to archive Paul's stuff...

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Mar-05-2017, 18:57 GMT
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I didn't see my reply so I'm posting it again. (Is there any way to subscribe to threads and receive e-mail notifications?)


Happy to, what little I can remember. One thing I'd like to do too but want opinions on first is to upload a list of songs they printed out for me. Have Paul's lawyers ever gotten upset over anything shared here? I don't doubt he'd be possessive about anything that came from his own files.

So, looking at my notes, when I first looked at what was in storage there were 639 tapes in Oct of 1984. I do remember some smaller additions and a large group of boxes being added later. I have a number - 2070 pieces, which may be what I ended up with. Most were studio recordings, everything from 24 tracks to 2 tracks (some 32 tracks) - most are analog but some digital later. Looking at my notes I do see some live shows which I’d have to go over to re-familiarize myself with. I do remember some film and related material used for One Trick Pony and some videotape (lots of it being done at Broadway Video, with Lorne Michaels being a close friend.) The collection included all of his solo work after S&G. The S&G stuff, as I understood it, belonged to CBS and was located elsewhere - I had nothing to do with any of that. I did run across a Tom and Jerry album but with all this being before the internet and my not wanting to stray too far from my role as someone who was logging the info and not bugging them about every little thing I ran across, I didn’t know more about things outside of my focus.

What interested me though was to see the evolution of songs, from one title to another. I listened to very little. They did let me rent a two-track at one point to listen to things that were poorly or not labelled but otherwise I just looked at take sheets, split sheets and what was on the boxes. I’d like to upload scans of the song titles they printed out for me but don’t want to incur Paul’s wrath, and from what I know of him he can be unpleasant.

My only interaction with him was in his office at 1619 Broadway one day early in my work there. I was introduced as the guy who was going through all his tapes. He came over to me and told me the key was “to keep it simple.” I vowed to as I was using the same format as we’d used at A&R Recording. He rarely was in the office. His manager, Ian Hoblyn was there more and there were two or three others who made the office work; they were who I dealt with. A touring company, Night After Night Productions, rented space from him next door and I dealt with them a little too. Otherwise, 95% of my time was spent sitting in a somewhat cool (temperature-wise) warehouse in Ft Lee. I kept my nose to the grindstone and off and on until 1987 worked on cataloging his tapes. There were significant delays while waiting for them to approve the next step, whatever they would have been so I would estimate that almost half the time I wasn’t working. I did make what I thought was a good salary at the time, going from $7/hr to $12.50/hr. Good compared to what I’d been making before… and the gain in self-confidence of being able to work for him (and Billy Joel, Phil Ramone and having the possibility of working for Springsteen - they were interested in my services but never got around to meeting with me) outweighed everything else.

I got the job when I was laid off from working at A&R Recording. (I’m surprised that A&R isn’t mentioned on this site!) I was the librarian there. When they lost the studios at 799 7th Avenue due to the construction of the Equitable building, they cleaned out the library, which was in the basement and moved what was left over to the much smaller space they had at 322 W 48th. I remember Milton Brooks, a VP at A&R, sitting me down in his office to lay me off but also tell me but that he had some leads for me, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Phil Ramone! I was thinking about going freelance anyway so this was perfect. I ended up working for all three. (Ramone is the R of A&R, Simon and Joel did lots of work there and Phil Produced many of their albums. I never got along with Phil but only had one interaction with him…)

Thanks for the info on the article about Glen Horowitz/Paul’s archive. It’s funny you mention Lou Reed’s archive. Both Lou and Paul were/are on the board of the ARChive of Contemporary Music in NYC. I don’t know why Lou (Laurie really) didn’t want to donate his material to them. Maybe it was because Lou’s material was more writing than recordings? I remember checking the ARChive out in my freelance days and considered working for them but didn’t want to live or commute into downtown NYC and B. George, the director, seemed too weird for me...

So, that’s what comes to mind at first. Let me know if it’s ok to upload those scans. Otherwise I still have written notes on (all?) tapes with dates (up to 1984 it seems) but not track info that may be interesting/useful. (I do remember pitching to his office the idea of a book similar to Mark Lewisohn’s The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, using the info I had transcribed. They weren’t interested… Still, I love the concept of that, a complete, day by day listing of what was recorded when and where. My work would be the basis of it though a real writer would be required to flesh it all out.) I may have some other info so if there are specific questions I’ll do the best I can.



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Mar-05-2017, 22:36 GMT
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Here is a list of the songs on my song list that I don’t see on yours or are slightly different. (I see one or two typos on your list as well…) I included any notes on that song list but can also go to a hand-written list I have to look up what songs were recorded on what dates, up to early 1984. It’s all arranged by date so it’s easier to see when things were recorded rather than find a specific song. These would be the titles on the tape boxes so if more than one song was recorded on that date, it won’t be listed.

I’d be happy to try to research any recording dates from 1957 to 2/13/84. If they don’t have song titles on the box, they might have where the session was recorded (live too.) I know I cataloged the Graceland tapes, they were the first tapes I worked on, but my notes only go up to 2/13/84, well before any work on that started (as far as I can tell from my very brief notes.)

nc = not copyrighted

(Some may be duplicates under The or A…_

Africa (Peggy Simon)
Agt song (tune) = Spanish guitar song, nc
All Because Of You (10/30/78)
Bad News Feeling, nc
Benedictus , nc
Big Boy?/Billy Boy? ~7 - 8/75, nc
Bingo The Dog, nc
Bleeker Street, nc
Bluesette (see Berkeley 24 trk 11/22/75)
Bookends Theme
Bye Bye Love
Can’t Get Away From My Love, nc
Dancin’ Wild, nc
Darlin’, nc
Dialog, nc
Dingo The Dog
Don’t Look Back
Don’t Say Goodbye
El Paso To LA - see 7/2/80 & Maxine’s Lament
Funny Night (3/29/73)
Girl From The North (Art Garfunkel), nc
Go Tell It On The Mountain
Happy Birthday, Peg
Happy Birthday, Carrie?
He was My Brother, nc
Here Come The Blues, nc
Hobo’s Blues
Honest I Do/Runnin’ Hidin’ , nc
I Wanna Get High
Just a Boy, nc
Just Like Anything, nc
Just One More Chance, nc (= Spiral Highway?)
Kimbie, nc
Leave My Woman Alone, nc (Everly Brothers song?)
Let Me Live In Your City
Little Bitty Pretty One (11/6/78)
Lone Teen Ranger, nc
Lover, Lover
Maxine’s Lament (see 7/2/80)
Milk And Honey, nc
Motel Theme
My Babe (not Sam & Dave?, see 5/5/78)
My Name Is Carnival, nc
Mystery Train, nc
new song - new song from Toronto, see also reel 99 CBS - 1st solo lp (lgt?)
Oh My Sweet Joy? (see 7” Beverly and Me and Artie, not filed)
Operator (11/21/80)
Our Song, nc
Play Me A Sad Song, nc
Please Don’t Tell Him, nc
Seven O’Clock News/Silent Night
Shame, Shame, Shame, nc
She’s Fast Gone Again, nc
Shy, nc
Simon Says, nc
Slow Man (12/31/80)
Soft Parachutes (12/31/80)
Something In The Middle, nc
Sound of Silence (no s)
Sound of Silence (Acoustic) (no s)
Spanish gtr song = Agt song (tune) - see Agt listing too
Spiral Highway (Just One More Chance?)
Teenage Fool, nc
That's My Story, nc
Tia-Juana Blues, nc
Tick Tock, nc
Too Much Sun (7/11/75)
True or False (Tom & Jerry)
Two Teenagers (…?)
untitled - many
Voices of Old People
What You Want, nc
Yellow Walls, nc
You Can Tell The World
You Don’t Know My Mind, nc
You Never Wanted Me, nc

B-52’s songs, see notes of 12/31/80
Same & Dave
John Sebastian

  [Like] 1 Håkan Håkan
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Mar-06-2017, 04:53 GMT

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Fascinating stuff! Thanks for sharing! I've got a question I'd like to take offline - can you email me? joeyberger at gmail dot com


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Mar-08-2017, 08:47 GMT

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Thanks a lot for this very interesting story. Something thats absolute new for us, very appreciated.

I can also tell you that Paul Simon or his office never started any legal actions against this site (or any other fan-site I know). They would only ask for deletion of private family pictures or such things - we don't have - and even then they would not contact via lawyer.
A list of song titles might not be a big thing.

I know a loft of those titles, most from the Tom and Jerry Time I think.
But I also see some interesting entries like 'Africa - Peggy Simon', or those Happy Birthday songs. I guess those are very private songs that Paul wanted to keep with his family, thats why the have never been released.

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Mar-08-2017, 17:16 GMT
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Great. I'll upload it. I also have discovered that I have more detailed notes on almost all of the tapes I ran across. I won't have track lists (or split sheet info) but I might be able to tell what dates a song was recorded or mixed and where and when some of the remote recordings took place. So, if there are any songs you're curious about, I can try to look them up.

Many titles, I suspect, may be working titles that evolved into other songs. I wouldn't know which ones though since I am not an expert on his works. I would be curious if someone could trace title x to title y though.

Good to hear that Paul or his office hasn't been a problem here. I'll still be discrete though as I know they'd like that.

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Mar-08-2017, 18:04 GMT
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I uploaded a bunch of scans but don't see them yet. Maybe they need to be approved or maybe I did them wrong... Hope they appear. Will check back later.

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Mar-09-2017, 23:44 GMT

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If you do not see the uploads, then something went wrong. Have to check if the upload still works.
We also have a more 'private' section named Excessive fans (click on the STUFF menu)
But maybe you can send me your scans and I upload them, because the picture upload is limited to small sizes (maybe 100kb) and has some character restrictions.
My email is [email protected] (webmaster)

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May-19-2021, 00:28 GMT
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Dome more info on here from the person who was archiving Paul's songs posted by him in 2017 .


  [Like] 1 Bodo Bodo
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May-19-2021, 08:54 GMT
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You have good memory Brenda

  [Like] 1 Brenda Brenda
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May-20-2021, 00:33 GMT
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The "Slow Man " (copyright 1978 )song mentioned in the list is in the PS Lyrics book and interstingly has never been released or appeared anywhere as far as I know.

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May-25-2021, 02:19 GMT
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According to the Hilburn bio C. Vaughan Hazell joined Paul's staff as an archivist in 1984 until 1992 . He then became Paul's PA . The current archivist is Christina Miranda.

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