I paid more than I thought I would for that disc, they usually go for nine or twelve but this one was forty-four and I hesitated a moment before pushing the pay button because I had bought knock-off disks before, nothing near like the original because they had been dubbed and redubbed and the quality rubbed off. But this one worked and the music was, was, was sublime, damn it Paul, masterpiece, beyond, so good, so sweet it swept me off my feet. Rather, it got me on my feet, African beat, Simon songs, Hugh’s horn, Makeba’s voice. She sometimes clicks. How incredible a night that was and how good a thrill it gave me all these years later, in need of something better and I got it.
I saw on iTunes this morning a newly issued video recording of a more recent Simon concert, in Hyde park and though I would rent it and thought better and bought it because, what the hell, how many times have I watched Graceland and been so glad I had?
Downloaded it, sat down on the couch, sweet dog of mine wrapped around my feet, good earphones on my ears and oh my god! Simon songs and Jimmy Cliff, Harder They Come and Many Rivers to Cross and Paul Simon and Jimmy Cliff harmonizing on Simon songs and wow enough and Hugh comes on stage to play horn and then Lady Smith, yes, and the Graceland Band from Africa and I am crying because it is so very fucking good, the songs, the players, the crowd taken up and onward to places unachievable by mortals, that’s what this music did, through the Simon rep and ripping into Graceland and solo Sound of Silence and some more on and on as though there were a heaven and it happened in London one night in Hyde Park.
Call me Al!