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Paul Simon quotes (60)

A man sees what he wants to see, And disregards the rest.
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All lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
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Anybody can do bad work, but not everybody does good work.
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Artie is a singer, and I'm a writer and player and a singer. We didn't work together on a creative level and prepare the songs. I did that.
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Artie travels all the time. The rehearsals were just miserable. Artie and I fought all the time. He didn't want to do the show with my band; he just wanted me on acoustic guitar.
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As long as you have capital punishment there is no guarantee that innocent people won't be put to death.
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Being an artist doesn't mean that you're a good artist. That was the bargain I first made with myself: I'd say, I'm an artist, but I'm not really very good.
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Facts can be turned into art if one is artful enough.
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Faith is an island in the setting sun, But proof is the bottom line for everyone.
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Having a track record to live up to and the history of successes had become a hindrance. It becomes harder to break out of what people expect you to do.
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How much can you do with two voices? You can sing thirds or you can sing fifths or you can do a background harmony.
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I always get very calm with baseball.
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I don't believe what the papers are saying They're just out to capture my dime, Exaggerating this, exaggerating that.
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I don't consider myself to be a major talent, so the only solace I can take is to hope I'm growing.
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I don't feel any pressure from fans. But I'm always in some kind of state of emotional turmoil. I would not describe myself as happy-go-lucky. That's not to say that I'm not happy.
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I don't like fashion. It's very heartless.
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I don't think that Simon and Garfunkel as a live act compares to Simon and Garfunkel as a studio act.
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I don't very often think I've done a good job. I don't like the majority of what I do. I shouldn't say I don't like it, but I'm not satisfied with almost everything that I do.
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I lived in an attached house. My father used to drive into the wrong driveway all the time. He'd say, Damn it, how do you tell one of these houses from another?
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I question what emotion Manilow touches. People are entertained by him. But are they emotionally moved? I don't believe anything that Barry Manilow sings.
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I rate each album as better than the last one. That's how I see it.
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I suppose an artist takes the elements of his life and rearranges them and then has them perceived by others as though they were the elements of their lives.
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I think Bridge Over Troubled Water was a very good song. Artie sang it beautifully. The Boxer was a really nice record. But I don't think I've written any great songs.
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I think I have a superior brain and an inferior stature, if you really want to get brutal about it.
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I try to open up my heart as much as I can and keep a real keen eye out that I don't get sentimental. I think we're all afraid to reveal our hearts. It's not at all in fashion.
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I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It's chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one.
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I would be willing to do almost anything to make Art happy. I care about our friendship. The only thing I won't do is change the essence of my work.
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I'm more interested in what I discover than what I invent.
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I'm not in it for the money. I like music. I love to write music. I can't imagine myself not playing or singing or writing. It would just drive me crazy if I didn't.
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If you can get humor and seriousness at the same time, you've created a special little thing, and that's what I'm looking for, because if you get pompous, you lose everything.
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Improvisation is too good to leave to chance.
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It's a big error to think that because you like somebody's work, you're going to like him.
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It's pointless to be critical of your stuff once it's done. I don't spend a lot of time agonising over it. It's of no importance once it's finished.
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Listen to the sound of silence.
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Mrs. Robinson is a little dated now, but it has nothing to do with Joe DiMaggio.
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Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.
Paul Simon   Category: Music

My life so common it disappears and sometimes even music cannot substitute for tears.
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My voice is my improvisational instrument, the melody instrument. The guitar is harmonic structure. I'm not a good enough guitarist to improvise on it.
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My whole artistic life has always been about change, change, change, move on, move on. It's the only thing I find interesting.
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Not every song I write is ecstasy. And it can happen only one time. After that, when you sing the same melody and words, it's pleasure, but you don't get wiped out.
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One of the things that upset me was some of the criticism leveled at Simon and Garfunkel. I always took exception to it, but actually I agree with a lot of it.
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People often called us perfectionists, but we were not looking for perfection. We were looking for some kind of magic in the music.
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Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo.
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The record company stay out of my way. Whenever the record is finished, they take it.
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The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.
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The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.
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There must be 50 ways to leave your lover.
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There's something about the sound of a train that's very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.
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We got on American Bandstand, where kids would dance to a record and then rate it. We called ourselves Tom and Jerry. I was Jerry.
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We had many more points of agreement than we had points of difference, but we did differ, and the bigger we got, the more insistent we got that each one of us should have his way.
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We just did what we'd done when we were an act in the '60s. But I found it impossible to hold a dialogue with 500,000 people. In a certain sense, it was numbing.
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We were always able to sing and blend well together; that's our gift. But aside from that, we're really two different guys.
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We've survived by believing our life is going to get better.
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When I began making my own albums, the songs became funkier. They were more about the streets.
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When I was 15, I made a solo record. It made Artie very unhappy. He looked upon it as something of a betrayal.
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When we came into the studio I became more and more me, making the tracks and choosing the musicians, partly because a great deal of the time during Bridge, Artie wasn't there.
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Who am I to blow against the wind?
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Why am I so soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?
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Without Arthur's voice, I never would have enjoyed that success.
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You want to be a writer, don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
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