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A New Book Claims Paul Simon Is A Jerk


Paul Simon


Ahhhhh, the pleasure to destroy rock and pop stars’ reputation, some people are always up for this pernicious delight, and if I am among those who want to know the truth about anyone, you will need more than this to convince me in this case!

Never Say No To A Rock Star’ is a new book by Glenn Berger, who was an apprentice to the legendary recording engineer Phil Ramone at New York City’s A&R Studios when he was still a teenager. Now a psychotherapist in NYC, he decided to write a book about the stories around this period of his life, stories about pop and rock icons such as Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Bette Midler, James Brown… Fine, but the recent announcement of Paul Simon’s possible retirement has probably triggered this new Page Six’s article about the book. According to Berger, Paul Simon is ‘a total jerk’ and a ‘prick’. And what about the reasons for this bold proposition?

Berger says he ‘has a tape on which Simon can be heard saying he wanted the song he was recording to be a bigger hit than the 1970 Simon & Garfunkel classic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’… ‘He [Simon] pauses for a giggle, then adds, ‘I used to have a partner named Art Garfunkel, and this would mean so much to me if I could just show . . . that it was, it was all me!’’

Is this all he has? There’s nothing new there. Simon’s complex about his partnership with Garfunkel is so well documented Berger can keep his tape for himself. Does he think we have never heard the fact that Simon wanted to be sure everyone understands he was the one writing all the songs? Wasn’t it even the reason of their breakup as a duo? I have heard this story since the 70’s, and if it reveals Simon’s ego, it’s true he was the one writing the songs.

Berger has also another story, he writes that Simon visited the studio when Karen Carpenter was recording a disco album. She was already sick and died the same year so the album was never released. ‘After listening to some of the tracks, Simon said ‘in a voice that combined derision, snobbishness, concern, and alarm . . . ‘Karen, what are you doing? This stuff is awful!’ ’… ‘Berger writes that Simon was right, but, ‘His insensitivity was stunning.’’

I don’t know if these sentences are taken out of context, I haven’t read the book, but does Berger imply that Simon was insensitive because he was giving an honest opinion? He was right, he says that the songs sucked so should Simon have said there were good because Karen Carpenter was dying?

As for his affirmation, ‘Paul just didn’t seem to care much about other human beings,’ does Berger know about this? Every rock and pop star on the planet may have a bunch of charities, but Simon is not Bono and he has never very much advertised his involvement with Children’s Health Fund he has founded with Dr. Irwin Redlener in 1987, in order to provide health care to homeless and underprivileged children who don’t have access to decent health care. He raises about $1 million for this charity every year during a gala dinner, but he doesn’t care about human beings? And what about the fact that some musicians like Vincent Nguini and Bakithi Kumalo have been playing with him since the Graceland days? Can anyone stand playing with a jerk for 35 years? Berger will need to dig a bit more in his anecdotes.

1 Comment

  1. Ricardo Zayas on August 20, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I think it’s great that Paul Simon raises I money for a worthy cause. That is noble. So did Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. But it is well documented that all three of these guys could be described as the “Southern end of a Northbound horse.” The is an army of self important jerks in Show Business.
    It’s been common knowledge for years among musicians that Paul Simon has a Napoleon complex. He indeed believes that his defecatory product does not have a foul aroma.
    His head is quite large for such a small body.
    The best way to deal with that kind of delusional individual is to ignore them and act as though they do not exist. I had a 50 year career in the music business. I have ignored many jerks in during that time. Once you act as though they are invisible, they either become nicer or really confused.

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