Sidgwick & Jackson

The Boy in the Bubble: a Biography of Paul Simon

I had tackled Simon & Garfunkel in my 1982 biography Bookends. Simon’s career arc since then had been decidedly dodgy. But then, along with the 1968 Elvis TV Comeback special, Graceland marked the greatest re-birth in rock & roll. I didn’t get to Paul, but they were rehearsing for the Albert Hall shows at the Brixton Academy, just down the road, so I spent a very pleasant day talking to long-time engineer Roy Halee and Ladysmith’s Joseph Shabalala. At the time, I always felt that Simon should have written a vehemently anti-apartheid song. In retrospect, I think he was right not to. BTW, he did not break the cultural boycott. And for many, Graceland was their introduction to World Music.