Paul Simon biographer Robert Hillburn was adamant that for his new book, Paul Simon: The Life, he wanted to tell the legendary singer-songwriter’s story — both accurately and truthfully. Hillburn had Simon’s help — but not direct endorsement — with the book, and paved the way for Hillburn to get access to those closest to him and sat for an astounding 100 hours of interviews. The book chronicles the highs and lows of Simon’s life and career — including his partnership with Art Garfunkel, the Grammy Award-winning 1986 return to form Graceland — along with the critical bombs of his 1980 movie One Trick Pony, the 1998 Broadway musical The Capeman, as well as his two failed marriages to Peggy Harper and the late-Carrie Fisher, respectively.
Hillburn told us that he knew going in the book needed to serve several purposes: “I wanted him to be happy with it and I wanted history to be happy with it — if that doesn’t sound pretentious. I wanted to tell an honest story as if someone sat down with him and got to know him and learned his life — this is what’s there. I wasn’t looking to sensationalize it, I had no particular agenda other than my curiosity and respect — but that doesn’t mean that I wanted to hide things. If something happened in his life that wasn’t pleasant, I wanted to deal with it as hard as I could.
Photo Courtesy of Lester Cohen