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Songwriter block, Paul Simon performs unfinished "Still Crazy"
Old 12-07-2013, 09:09 AM   #1
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Songwriter block, Paul Simon performs unfinished "Still Crazy"

A recent NYT guest column by songwriter Darrell Brown talking about songwriting and writers block, it includes a marvelous clip filmed years ago of Paul Simon on the Dick Cavett Show discussing "Still Crazy After All These Years" while only half complete. NYT article here includes interesting thoughts on the creative process.

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Old 12-07-2013, 10:48 AM   #2
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Loved the interview, thanks for posting. Though the article didn't do much for me.

I love hearing an artist perform a work in progress. It sounded great with just him and guitar, and the final studio version seems unchanged, other than orchestration (Rhodes electric piano taking the main chords).

So I had to listen to the studio version with lyrics. I must say, the verses he had were great, I think we can all place ourselves in that position (even if we don't have an old lover that we might randomly meet and have beers with, we can imagine). And the meaning is clear, but still allows our mind to wander (why isn't he the kind to socialize, why lean on old familiar ways? Why did they break up?). The follow up verses that he wrote later are just kinda weird IMO. I can't relate or see how they fit or what they mean.

Pretty sure it's 'Crapped out' not 'Trapped out', but...

Four in the morning
Trapped out, yawning
Longing my life a--way
I'll never worry
Why should I?
I know it's all gonna fade

Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars go by
I fear I'll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh, still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years

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Old 12-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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This article provides what to me is a fascinating insight on the creative process. For example,
Stuck happens for a lot of reasons but I feel it happens most times because of self-censorship. We fear what we are writing might be terrible, so we end up not writing at all.
if you have gotten stuck it’s more than likely you are “thinking” instead of “creating.”
And best of all,
You feeling stuck today? Well then, tomorrow try this: Get up before the sun and watch the morning rise and write down anything that comes to mind without any judgment at all. Dare to be bad and let perfectionism fly out the window. Less thinking more creating.
Sounds like great advice to me.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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An expanded version of "Rymin' Simon" includes a demo of a partially finished "American Tune" where he hums the melody for the parts that don't have words yet.
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