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You Can Call Me Paul

Biography of Paul Simon just released

Photo of Paul SIMON

Here comes rhymin' Simon, by the book.

A new biography, "Paul Simon: The Life" by retired Los Angeles Times writer Robert Hilburn, is based on more than 100 hours of interviews with the 76-year-old singer-songwriter who collaborated with childhood pal Art Garfunkel on genteel pop anthems like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Sound of Silence."

Simon was "very articulate," Hilburn, 78, tells Rolling Stone. "He wasn't very chummy, but he wasn't nervous talking about his creative process. He was very forthcoming."

The author's repeated requests for an interview with Garfunkel were turned down, but he did speak to an array of musicians and music executives as well as Simon's first two wives, Peggy Harper and Carrie Fisher. (Simon has been married to singer Edie Brickell since 1992; the couple has three children.)

"A couple of months before Carrie died [in 2016], I visited her at her house in Beverly Hills," Hilburn says. "She was just fabulous and such a funny woman. She was seductive in a nice way."

The same might also be said of Simon's music and his biography, which Linda Ronstadt describes as "a tantalizing look into the mind and writing process of the man who is arguably the finest craftsman of the American popular song since the Gershwin brothers."

The intimacy of Simon's revelations gives the 448-page book "the feel of Paul Simon's best work, generous and witty and so rich in detail," says writer and director Cameron Crowe. "It'll send you back to the music with all these soul-stirring stories still in your heart."