Paul Simon is looking a little old. His picture was in the Globe and Mail today and I was surprised by this. But love is blind, so it doesn’t matter.
Cecilia was my first favourite song. I’d blast it in my bedroom, dancing and checking out my moves in the mirror. Hairbrush microphone, high ponytail, neon necktie.
My precision skating team, the Leaside Lazers, broke the mold with our group formations to You Can Call Me Al. That song really took the sting out of travelling in matching k-way tracksuits (oh, the swishing!) and having my hair French-braided and lacquered by a sadistic homemaker on a moving bus.
In third-year university, Graceland became the obvious anthem of an epic road trip involving a condiments-coloured hitchhiker, Super-8s, black ice, red bandanas, Elvis, the fuzz in Flagstaff, Glen’s glassy eyes and the Grand Canyon. Not in that particular order of course, and not to mention the narrowly avoided Cheyenne incident in Ogallala, Nebraska. It is both the most hopeful and the saddest song ever written.
The Globe article was about Paul’s fervent belief that in today’s $1.29 download world, the album is still an essential and worthwhile experience. That artists have to work really hard to make the entity more interesting and enriching than its parts.
As I struggle with A Suitable Boy, I wonder if the same can be said for epic novels. Despite my personal affinity for Vikram, I think this one is going to end up parked next to Paradise Lost. In other words, not sure it’s “interesting” enough to motivate me to endure its 591,552 words. If it were music, I’d be downloading only to Chapter 2.