dimanche 25 décembre 2011
John Simon is a composer, arranger, record producer, songwriter and self-described ‘compulsive musician’.
After moving to New York in the 60’s he trained with Columbia and went on to produce albums for Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, Leonard Cohen's first album, the first album by Blood, Sweat and Tears and the first two albums by The Band.
He has also collaborated with Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Cyrus Faryar and many others.
We were desperate to contact John for an interview after listening to his two first albums: The John Simon’s album (1970) [re-issued by Water in 2005] and Journey (1972) both first published by Warner Brothers and available to listen to on Spotify.
Listen to Annie Looks Down and you will feel the juvenile complexity of a certain summer on Fire Island; we are talking about Last Summer of course, the 1969 film for which he composed the score for the soundtrack with Collin Walcott.
John Simon recently performed in New York and toured in Japan. This is his interview.
1. Your first musical memories?
Sousa marches and “Open The Door Richard” on a little turntable.
2. The best record you received as a present? / The worse one?
Gerry Mulligan’s first album / I’ve intentionally forgotten the worst
3. The first record that you lost?
4. The name of your imaginary band?
5. In which environment do you like to record music?
My living room on my own piano
6. What will music sound like in 50 years / 5000 years?
7. Which underrated album will start a new musical genre?
New musical genres will start from over-rated albums.
8. Which album should never have been made?
Jiminy Cricket in "Pinocchio": "If you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all."
9. Your favourite album to have a drink?
I don’t drink.
10. Your dream collaboration?
Jesus, Moses and Mohammed
11. The record that freaks you out?
If it starts to freak me out I stop listening.
12 .The record you would like to listen to right now?
Bud Shank and 3 trombones
13. The film that tickles your creativity?
What film doesn’t?
14. The little-known track that everyone should have heard of?
"Gloria" from "La Misa en Mexico".
15. An album or an artist you wouldn’t want to be?
16. The cover version you would love to do?
17. The mashup you would love to do?
What the hell is a mash up?
18. The text you would like to produce a soundtrack for?
Je ne sais quoi.
19. Have you ever had auditory hallucinations?
You mean do I hear music in my head? All the fucking time!
20. How would you like to die?
Comfortably and not too soon.
John Simon - Annie looks down (1971)
Go to John Simon's website, listen to John Simon's album (1971) and Journey (1973) on spotify. Read more about John Simon on wikipedia.
John comments :
"These questions are so crazy, I’m attaching an 'unpublished photo' in the same spirit."