I often think I was born out of my time… not ahead of it, more behind it, which is why when my peers were expressing their angst through Joy Division I was finding meaning through Paul Simon, 80 years young today.
As the youngest of three boys with a five and eight year gap between us my early influences were The Beatles, The Stones, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Heavy Metal… and Simon & Garfunkel.
And as a gangly shy adolescent I find solace in the longing, introverted, wanderer music of Paul Simon… I still do.
Now there have been rockier, wilder concerts (The Killers, The Proclaimers), equally as iconic singers (David Bowie). and more celebrated venues (OneRepublic in Red Rocks, Colorado) but there have been no more rewarding gigs than Paul Simon on his farewell tour which touched down in Dublin.
So how does your favourite Travel blog mark the 80th birthday of the Poet Laureate of Pop?
Well, by shining a light on the places Rhymin’ Simon loved the most and whose musical influences burst out in his timeless songs.
Apple of his eye
New York: A proud son of Queen’s borough, Simon’s songs about New York are some of the most recognisable about the Big Apple.
The Boxer is a plaintive exploration of down on your luck New York life which includes a reference to the ‘whores on 7th Avenue’.
Simon told the story at a concert of a fan who told him she would sing the song to her child only she changed the words to ‘toy stores’.
There’s something quite playful too about the 59th Street Bridge Song and I referenced it too on my route to the RDS for that 2019 concert.
It’s one of those annoying Government buzzwords so let’s claim it back with a Rainy Days and Songdays Green Lighting megamix around the world. Our favourite songs with ‘green’ in the title and the countries where they transport us.
The old rogue Burns was pure rock’n’roll and could pen a lyric and a tune which is probably why he is held in such high regard by the greatest singer-songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century.
With Bob Dylan, no less, crediting the Scot as his greatest inspiration.
Every nation sacrificed its most promising generation in No Man’s Land but for those from the furthest outposts of Empire… well, it just seems to be all the more pointless to modern sensibilities.
Eric Bogle, a Scots-born Australian, explores the pyschological cost to one survivor ‘young Willie McBride’. And it was all the more poignant after I’d seen the statue of the Scots soldier in northern France.
Just like watching the detectives don’t get cute, just like watching the detectives, I get so angry when the teardrops start, But he can’t be wounded ’cause he got no heart. – Elvis Costello, Watching the Detectives
And with apologies to the Poet Laureate of New Wave.
But it’s not the bespectacled one but the new run of Line of Duty, shot in Belfast, which has got me thinking.
About my favourite detectives in the cities they are associated with.
So here are seven deadly detective shows, their music and their cities.