Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Classic Album 2 - Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends"

Let's talk about Simon and Garfunkel,
their epic concept album, Bookends, 

and the times in which it was 
released to the world - 
including Castlegar.

During the mid to late 60s, the family home on 

the hill was constantly thrumming with music. 

At any given time, the console stereo would be 
pumping out the latest sounds from a wide 
variety of artists, while Rod's Seabreeze 
record player was in use in his or my 
bedroom. Doug might be outside,
washing his 4-wheeled pride and 
joy, as its radio blared the 
hit parade, courtesy of 
Castlegar's own 

Meanwhile, Gord, 
Ken and I might be in the 
rumpus room, trading licks: 
Gord on his '65 Yamaha Spanish 
guitar (with the original 'motorcycle 
spokes' logo on the headstock), Ken
playing his Ludwig Jazz kit, and me 
on my used, $25, candy apple red 
Teisco bass (with the 4 pickups).

Music was anywhere and everywhere, 

on the hill and in the valley below.

That was how cool Castlegar 
was, way back in the 60s.

When Rod unwrapped and first played Bookends, 

top to bottom, we brothers all stopped what we 
were doing and congregated in the living room, 
amazed by the LP's lush production and 2-sided 
concept: side one exploring the ups and downs of 
ageing and side two containing hit song after hit song, 
mostly written for (and rejected from) the soundtrack to 
the movie The Graduate. My ears quickly became hooked 
on the album, requiring daily doses of its timeless strains, 
as I subconciously memorized every melody and lyric, 
not to mention its perfectly planned - perfectly 
sequenced running order...

Side One: 

Bookends Theme; Save The Life of My Child, 
featuring Bob Moog's synthesiser; the magnificent, 
sprawling America; Overs; the haunting Voices of 
Old People (who were not much older then than I 
am now); one of my lifelong faves, 
Old Friends and the title song, 

Side Two: 

Fakin' It, with its incredibly deep and wide production,
 courtesy of the great Roy Halee (whom I met in early '80); 
the humorous Punky's Dilemma; the number one smash, 
Mrs. Robinson; A Hazy Shade of Winter and... finally... 
the mesmerising At The Zoo, with its tongue-twisting 
couplets of rich, wry rhyme. What an album!! 

I searched far and wide for clean copies of each song,
then embedded each Tube video in its correct sequence,
below. I couldn't find Voices Of Old People, and could
only locate a 'live', mono version of Punky's Dilemma.

Now, it's up to you, ladies and fine fellows, 
to follow the mellow yellow brick road...
back... back... no... further... yeah... 
THAT far back... the distant spring of '68.

Here's Classic Album 2,
almost in its entirety: 

Bookends Theme

Save The Life Of My Child



Old Friends


Fakin' It (Mono)

Punky's Dilemma
(live version from 1968)

Mrs Robinson

A Hazy Shade of Winter

At The Zoo

Mozz the Elder


  1. Thanks for reminding me of this great album. Reminds me of my old high school English teacher. He had the tweed jacket with the elbow patches and we listened to this album in class. Everyone who lived in the sixties probably had one "groovy" English teacher like that.
    America has always been one of my favourite tunes and I like the YES version too!

  2. Wow! Such a great album. Their best, IMHO. America was one of the first S&G songs I learned to play on the guitar, courtesy of lessons from my buddy Mike (A.)

    Every track on the album is amazing. I, too, have a great fondness for "At The Zoo". Fine imagery in the lyrics.

    I teach "Punky's Dilemma" to my students each year. A seemingly light hearted tune, which may have more serious underlying meaning.

    Thanks for putting this one up. Truly, one of the great classic albums.