Because when you put on the earphones and go to work, I guess your commitment to art is greater than your lack of commitment to each other. So you always get responsible and serious toward doing your best work from the heart with all the beauty you have within you when it's tape time.
Before the world gets to know something that's neat, you get to know it. And you're your own spectator of what's coming out of you. And it's really kind of . .. delirious and happy. It made you want to giggle while you were singing, it was so much fun doing these things.
I did have a lucky thing going on there in my throat.
I did three and a half years in the architecture school with no real love or feel for it. After quite a while I realized I don't like to pick up a pen and freely sketch and let my imagination run towards structures. And if I don't have that natural desire, what am I doing here? How did I let this illusion go on so long?
I hated performing. I love to sing but I don't love to sing in front of people. I don't have much of a feel for performing. When I think of performing, I think of being so nervous you want to throw up. That's what performing means to me. Singing in the recording studio when there's no one else around, that's a whole different thing.
I like working solo and it was a lot of fun joking around with the audience, saying things. I'm only just learning how to do certain things.
I teach well. I used to really like teaching a lot. I enjoyed it a lot and I was good at it.
I used to chart the records. I used to listen Hit Parade. I was in love with the Hit Parade for its own sake. I loved the rise and fall of the records with their numbers. Records that went from 11 to four. It killed me because of the numbers. And I had my graph chart of all these things. And I was very mathematical.
I would start seeing, in just the sense I was saying now, the kind of record it was going to be and what the arrangement demands, and what my vocal part should be in the record. This was all emerging as the song was emerging.
I'm the kind of person who can hear that stuff. If you sing along to the radio and you're not going to sing unison with the melody, but find the harmony, I find that pretty easy to do.
My parents both sang very casually around the house. My family bought a wire recorder in the forties when I grew up, and they would sing a little into the wire recorder. Not seriously but just to make music around the house, and I must have liked the pleasing sound and their harmony. There was a little singing in my childhood and I could do that myself, I realized.
My walk across America started in the early 80s when, as a traveler, I took a freighter across the Pacific to Japan. It was the first time I had ever been there. As I pulled into the harbor, I hatched the notion, I will walk the country from coast to coast. Most of the time I was alone with my Sony Walkman and my notebook in my pocket. Over forty more excursions, about three a year, taking about twelve years, I crossed the entire United States.
Nicole Kidman is a really watchable actress.
Paul Simon has more, I think, of a feel for the stage. Whereas I have it more for the notes themselves. I love record making and mixing, arranging, producing. That I love. I love to make beautiful things, but I don't like to perform.
Paul is a very creative artist but I'm more that thorough, meticulous, disciplined nut.
Paul is like John Lennon. They're feisty. There's a rebellious attitude. You know, that's very acceptable. It's standard rebellious attitude stuff. The public tends to like that stuff. It shows that they're feisty, that they're not busy patronizing the proper-sounding, wholesome phrases of the culture.
Records became much cruder in the last 20 years. Let's put it that way.
Records have images. There are wet records and dry records. And big records.
Rodgers and Hammerstein didn't mean anything to me. I just wanted to have a hit, I just wanted to be like those people on the radio. It was all of a case of the present tense with no projecting into the future, particularly.
So it's mix and match. Hold your line when you really feel something you're saying is wonderful and you really want to get this point across and prove it to your partner by just throwing it into the tape and letting it speak for itself.
Then I would sing a little in the synagogue. See, if you're a singer, you love to turn your own ears on. You look for those rooms where the reverb is great. I remember the synagogue had a lot of wood and it was a great room. And it was a captive audience and you could sing these minor key songs and make them cry, and that was a thrill.
To the extreme. Dylan was the coolest thing in the country. If you were a young person at that age, maybe you don't go for Dylan's gravelly style voice, but who he was and how different and bold his lyrics were, and his look, that was the closest thing the record business had to James Dean.
We human beings are tuned such that we crave great melody and great lyrics. And if somebody writes a great song, it's timeless that we as humans are going to feel something for that and there's going to be a real appreciation.
We'd go to the fraternity house. It was a good place to practice. But we really wanted the kids to overhear us. And whoever heard us would go nuts over it.
We'd knock on the doors, we knew the different companies we liked because we were listening to Alan Freed and we knew the different labels and they were all located there. We'd go up and we'd often sing live for the people. Which was very nervous-making, you know? They're busy, so if they don't like you, they cut you off right away.
When Paul and I were first friends, starting in the sixth grade and seventh grade, we would sing a little together and we would make up radio shows and become disc jockeys on our home wire recorder. And then came rock and roll.