Paul Simon has long looked up to Bob Dylan. A folkie from New York, his early years were spent in his shadow, before finding fame under his own steam.
The two have known each other for decades. Paul Simon and Bob Dylan have performed together live, while Dylan has been known to include the odd cover of Simon’s ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ in his live sets.
Back in 2011, it seemed as though a studio collaboration was on the cards. During sessions for Paul Simon’s ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ he sculpted a new tune, and left a space he felt Bob Dylan could fill.
The song became the title track of the record, but – as fans already know – Bob Dylan isn’t on the finished version. So, what happened? Well, even Paul Simon hasn’t quite fathomed that one out.
Chatting to MOJO, he recalled:
“I’d written the title track ‘So Beautiful Or So What’, and there were two verses that I thought would be good for Bob. It’s kind of a blue song, and I thought it could accommodate his voice now that it’s real rough. I thought he could be the voice of wisdom. I sent a message via our mutual manager asking if Bob would like to sing on the song.”
He continued: “The first word I got back was that he liked it and he wanted to do it, but then I never heard anything more. I had a deadline, and I needed to get the album finished. I figured maybe Bob was burnt out from touring, or maybe he had more dates to do. It was no big deal.”
What could have been…
Re-visit ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ below.
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