Sunday, March 13, 2011

Harper Simon: Wishes and Stars

The other day I was playing a CD of tracks by modern singer-songwriters that had been given away free by a magazine. It was on in the background while I was doing something else, so I wasn't listening too closely.

But one of the songs caught my attention. Here was someone who has been listening to Paul Simon, I thought.

Well he had, because the singer turned out to be Paul Simon's son.

As Sophie Heawood wrote in The Times last year:
Born in New York in 1972, Harper was named after his mother, Peggy Harper, who had married Paul Simon two years previously, in the year that Simon and Garfunkel split up ... His parents divorced when Harper was only a few years old, and Paul released Still Crazy After All These Years, inspired by the break-up.
So he is a late developer but, as Heawood discusses, that is not unusual in the sons of big music stars.

This song is pretty and sweet, though it is not hard to find some ropey performances by Harper Simon elsewhere on Youtube, so perhaps the studio is kind to him.

Does he sound like his father on purpose? Perhaps not.

I recall seeing footage of Liam Botham bowling during his brief cricket career. He looked exactly like his father. But, uncannily, he looked exactly like Ian Botham had when he first appeared on the test scene, complete with a pronounced check in his run a couple of strides before he reached the crease.

When Ian Botham ironed that out he became a much faster bowler. Liam cannot have seen him bowl like that. And if had modelled his action on his father's, it would surely have been on the action he had when he was bowling at his best.

Oh, and despite what the song says, Harper Simon never travelled to Graceland with his father.

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