Episode 17: Bookends

 
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Chapter 17 of Rock N Roll Archaeology is bookended by a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums: “Bookends” from the spring of 1968; and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from January of 1970.

Our story takes place mostly in New York City: a city big enough to spawn two very different, very talented--and very influential--artists: Paul Simon and Lou Reed.

We skip work on a cold January afternoon to catch a movie: Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate.” It’s a generation milestone of a film, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music is a big part of that; what’s more, we argue, it’s a different kind of soundtrack, something new in film and popular culture.

We meet Tom Wilson, the first African-American staff producer at Columbia Records.  Tom oversaw the first two Simon & Garfunkel albums. We follow him for a little while and he leads us to...Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

We get to know Lou and the Velvets, and the scene from which they sprang: Andy Warhol’s Factory. We meet a Factory hang-around, an angry young woman with good reasons to be angry, but she takes it way too far, with tragic consequences.

And we’ll meet the first Punk Rock band: The MC5, and the revolutionary political milieu they occupied. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 has some things to say about that, and about a fateful MC5 gig at the Fillmore East.  

Finally, we’ll meet one of our favorite artists ever, who came from the same scene as the MC5: Iggy Pop. We say “Amen” to Iggy Pop.

We wrap it back around to Simon & Garfunkel, and their take on the anger and disappointment, on the turmoil of the late 1960s. An offer of comfort and healing is the first big Pop hit of the 1970s.

Songs

Mitch Miller and the Gang: “Camptown Races” from Sing Along With Mitch, 1959

Simon & Garfunkel: “April Come She Will” from Sounds of Silence, 1966

Simon & Garfunkel: “Mrs Robinson” from Bookends, 1968

Simon & Garfunkel: “Hazy Shade of Winter” from Bookends, 1968

Simon & Garfunkel: “Bookends Theme” from Bookends, 1968

Everly Brothers: “Bye Bye Love” single released 1957

The Chords: “Sh-Boom” single released 1954

Tom & Jerry: “Hey Schoolgirl” single released 1957

Simon & Garfunkel: “The Sound of Silence” from Sounds of Silence, 1966

Simon & Garfunkel: “Kathy’s Song” from Sounds of Silence, 1966

Simon & Garfunkel: “Anji” from Sounds of Silence, 1966

Bob Dylan: “Positively 4th Street” single released 1965

The Velvet Underground: “Waiting for the Man” from The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967

The Primitives: “Do the Ostrich” single released 1966

The Velvet Underground: “Sunday Morning” from The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967

The Velvet Underground: “White Light/White Heat” from White Light/White Heat, 1968

The Velvet Underground: “Rock and Roll” from Loaded, 1970

The Velvet Underground: “Sweet Jane” from Loaded, 1970

The Beatles: “Happiness is a Warm Gun” from The Beatles (The White Album), 1968

Lou Reed: “Perfect Day” from Transformer, 1973

Lou Reed: “Vicious” from Transformer, 1973

The MC5: “Kick Out The Jams” from Kick Out the Jams, 1969

The MC5: “High School” from Back in the USA, 1970

The MC5: “Motor City is Burning” from Kick Out the Jams, 1969

The Stooges: “I Wanna Be Your Dog” from The Stooges, 1969

The Stooges: “1969” from The Stooges, 1969

The Stooges: “Search and Destroy” from Raw Power, 1973

The MC5: “American Ruse” from Back in the USA, 1970

The MC5: “Lookin at You” from Back in the USA, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “Fakin’ It” from Bookends, 1968

Simon & Garfunkel: “America” from Bookends, 1968

Simon & Garfunkel: “Save the Life of my Child” from Bookends, 1968

Simon & Garfunkel: “The Boxer” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “Baby Driver” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “The Only Living Boy in New York” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “Cecilia” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “El Condor Pasa” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel: “Keep the Customer Satisfied” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel:  “Bye Bye Love” from Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970

Books

Peter Ames Carlin: Homeward Bound

Anthony DeCurtis: Lou Reed: A Life

Breanne Fahs: Valerie Solanas

Todd Gitlin: The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage

Robert Hilburn: Paul Simon: The Life

Wayne Kramer: The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain: Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Patti Smith: Just Kids

Valerie Solanas: The SCUM Manifesto

Andy Warhol: Popism
Online Resources

Ben Morea

“Deeper Digs in Rock: Robert Hilburn on Paul Simon” from Pantheon Podcasts

Robert Christgau

Rolling Stone Online

Official Paul Simon Website

Documentaries, Feature Films, and TV Programs

Almost Famous, directed by Cameron Crowe, 2001

Danny Says, directed by Brendan Toller, 2015

The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, 1967

I Shot Andy Warhol, directed by Mary Harron, 1996

Lou Reed: Rock n Roll Heart from American Masters, Season 11 (PBS), first broadcast 2013 (Retrieved from PBS )

Simon & Garfunkel, Songs of America: first broadcast on CBS Television, October 1969. (Retrieved from DailyMotion.)

Credit where (we’re pretty sure) credit is due:

We’d love to claim the phrase “Ever Hopeful and Ever Blue” entirely for ourselves, but it wouldn’t be right. We’ve found it elsewhere...but Dave Baerwald wrote it, as best we can tell. It looks like the first use was in a song by David & David called “Heroes,” from their eponymous 1986 album. (A great, and sadly kinda overlooked, record, BTW.)



 
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