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#1156732 - 09/21/19 12:54 PM He Saved Paul SImon's Life!  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,171
Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2017
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I've heard stories of this but never knew the whole picture. Its funny when Little Stevie was on The Sopranos
he ordered and did a lot of hits.... but he Saved Paul SImon from one!

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/...aceland-10-things-you-didnt-know-105220/

The debate intensified when Simon announced a six-month world tour entitled “Graceland: The African Concert,” which would feature a front line of South African session players, Lady Smith Black Mambazo, and South African exiles Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba. As 1987 dawned, Simon found himself on the UN Anti-Apartheid Committee’s boycott violator’s list, putting him in unsavory company. Obviously distressed by this, he undoubtedly would have been much more disturbed to know that he was also at the top of a hit list.

Bizarrely, Simon was unwittingly saved from a tragic fate by Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band deputy, Steven Van Zandt. The guitarist had been active in the South African freedom movement for many years, founding the Artists United Against Apartheid organization. He wrote, produced and performed on the 1985 all-star protest song “Sun City,” a rock & roll denunciation of all artists who dared to perform at the titular resort. Van Zandt had originally asked Simon to participate in the recording, but he refused after being shown an early draft of the lyrics that called out his friend Linda Ronstadt by name. The pair apparently shared a rocky relationship for some time after that. In a recent Sirius XM interview with Dave Marsh, Van Zandt claims that Simon questioned his pro–Nelson Mandela stance around the time of the Graceland sessions with a scornful, “What are you doing, defending this communist?”

Van Zandt’s anti-apartheid activities took him into Soweto to meet with a group of militant black radicals known as the Azanian People’s Organization, or AZAPO. They were so die-hard that they had a lengthy discussion with Van Zandt about whether to kill him on the spot simply for showing up. “That’s how serious they were about violating the boycott,” he said. “I eventually talked them out of that.”

He soon gained their trust. “They showed me that they [had] an assassination list, and Paul Simon was at the top of it. And in spite of my feelings about Paul Simon, I said to them, ‘Listen, I understand your feelings about this; I might even share them, but … this is not gonna help anybody if you knock off Paul Simon. Trust me on this, alright? Let’s put that aside for the moment. Give me a year or so … to try and do this a different way. I’m trying to actually unify the music community around this, which may or may not include Paul Simon, but I don’t want it to be a distraction. I just don’t need that distraction right now; I gotta keep my eye on the ball.’ And they took him off that assassination list.”

#1156739 - 09/21/19 02:39 PM Re: He Saved Paul SImon's Life! [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,089
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
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California
I wonder if Simon ever thanked Steven. Probably not. Given their complicated feelings towards each other.

It's one thing to be an artist who's politically naive, but another to decide to talk like you are informed, like SImon did.

I wince when I listen to SImon's music. It not hard to hear greatness in there, but it IS hard for my mind NOT to wander and think about his brand of cultural imperialism and thievery for leaving Los Lobos out of the Graceland credits, though they created the musical bed for "All Around The World," not to mention his theft of Martin Carthy's "Scarborough Fair" guitar arrangement.

SVZ on the other hand is a cultural hero and there's a movie in all this..Who'd play SVZ? One of the Francos? Zachary Quinto resembles him physically..

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 09/21/19 02:44 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1156740 - 09/21/19 03:03 PM Re: He Saved Paul SImon's Life! [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 2,171
Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2017
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
I wonder if Simon ever thanked Steven. Probably not. Given their complicated feelings towards each other.

It's one thing to be an artist who's politically naive, but another to decide to talk like you are informed, like SImon did.

I wince when I listen to SImon's music. It not hard to hear greatness in there, but it IS hard for my mind NOT to wander and think about his brand of cultural imperialism and thievery for leaving Los Lobos out of the Graceland credits, though they created the musical bed for "All Around The World," not to mention his theft of Martin Carthy's "Scarborough Fair" guitar arrangement.

SVZ on the other hand is a cultural hero and there's a movie in all this..Who'd play SVZ? One of the Francos? Zachary Quinto resembles him physically..

Mike


They have spoken about it from what I understand, and Stevie concluded that Paul still thinks he was right! I dont think there are any harsh feelings about it any more but, he did tweet this to a fan. https://twitter.com/stevievanzandt/status/803076992677646336?lang=en

I did not know much about apartheid or some of the things people didnt like Paul about. I try to judge the music, although it is hard sometimes, particularly when the artist writes serious material. I dont have a hard time listening to Michael Jackson, his music transcends who he was, but somebody who writes serious personal stuff, it does cast some doubt on it.

I must say I do like Pauls music very much still, great songwriter

#1156747 - 09/21/19 04:12 PM Re: He Saved Paul SImon's Life! [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Oct 2017
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2017
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Hey u know Mike, that could be a Movie, maybe I need to tweet Little Stevie to see if hes on board.

Maybe he could play himself!


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