Tuesday, October 6, 2015

40 Year Itch: A Soundtrack for the Divorce Decade

  On October 6, 1975 Paul Simon released Still Crazy After All These Years, the Grammy award winning Album of the Year which spun off three hit singles and amassed platinum sales. It's a mellow, melancholy album that chronicles the end of Simon's marriage to Peggy Harper, the woman who inspired "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".

Complex chords played on an electric piano dominate the proceedings as Simon muses on his return to life as a lonely, single man:

I'm not the kind of man
Who tends to socialize
I seem to lean on
Old familiar ways

  Simon did socialize though. He would date starlets like Shelly Duvall and his second wife Carrie Fisher. He was also spotted at Studio 54. And there would be no shortage of women who would have said things like:

She said it grieves me so
To see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do
To make you smile again
 I said I appreciate that

   Outside of the "Slip out the back, Jack" rhyming scheme ( which certainly got old in repeated airplays as "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" went to #1), the album's pretty serious stuff. That would explain Simon's 1976 appearance on his best friend Lorne Michaels's Saturday Night Live in which he sings "Still Crazy" in a turkey outfit.

  "I don't wanna be Mr Alienation. I want to be a regular guy," he explains.

My favorite cut is probably "Have a Good Time". Written for Warren Beatty's Shampoo, it's sung from the point of view of the Beverly Hills hairdresser/lothario is sleeping his way into trouble.:

I've been loving and loving
And loving
I'm exhausted from loving so well
I should go to bed
But a voice in my head
Says "Ah, what the hell"

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