Thursday, July 24, 2008

Paul Simon, Udine Castle, 22/07/08

Another fine concert in Udine’s splendid little castle, this time with 66 year-old Paul Simon. The diminutive Simon sang 2 hours non-stop in front of an appreciative crowd of some 2,000 people, a lot of them over 60s too (wonder why?)!

A hush fell over everyone as one of his songs was “Sound Of Silence”, to be followed by another favourite, “Mrs. Robinson” (that song by the way is now only 40 years old as “The Graduate” came out in 1968 and its soundtrack also won a Grammy award). A pity that Paul’s old mate Art Garfunkel wasn’t also on stage, but at least in my case, I got to see the two a few years ago in Rome in front of the Coliseum for the free concert (opening band: The Everly Brothers! And on drums for Paul and Art was Jim Keltner, someone who’s played with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Roy Orbison and the Travelling Wilburys, not to mention having played drums on perhaps my all-time favourite album by John Lennon, “Walls And Bridges”!). Perhaps royalties and contractual red-tape still tie the two together, but one of their most famous songs was missing from the castle’s concert: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

Simon was backed up by 7 other great musicians. His voice was actually still quite good and he managed to also belt out hits such as “Graceland”, “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard” and “Slip Slidin’ Away”. He also slipped in some songs from his last album, such as “Outrageous” and “Father And Daughter”.

As I was watching him I kept on thinking of almost 30 years ago when one night back in Canada, as I would quite often do on Saturday’s, I was watching “Saturday Night Live”. The host for that evening was Paul Simon and for the musical part of the show, he called on stage a certain fellow by the name of George Harrison. Exceptionally memorable was their performance (acoustic) of George’s “Here Comes The Sun” (all pics by M. Rimati)!

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Some of the rather interesting churches in Italy and around the world.