Paul Simon in Israel – Bridge over troubled memories
Gideon Levy reminisces over the Paul Simon of today - and 30-years-ago.
I don't think I've been to this stadium since his last time, I mean their last time. Simon and Garfunkel, Ramat Gan Stadium, summer of 1983. Almost 30 years younger.
After years of listening to their black vinyl albums, their covers worn out from use - suddenly they went off stage separately. Turns out there were 50 ways to leave your lover.
"Just slip out the back, Jack; make a new plan, Stan; You don't need to be coy, Roy; Just get yourself free. Hop on the bus, Gus; you dont need to discuss much; Just drop off the key, Lee, and get yourself free."
Quite a few partings and especially dreams of partings, that song accompanied since then. After all these years, he still moved a few hearts yesterday. Mine too.
He delivered the goods last night. All the songs, the same voice, excellent musicians, superb sound and lighting. But 30 years ago he thrilled me much more. It's entirely my fault; the crowd loved him last night as well. Ben Shalev, Haaretz's music critic sitting next to me, said: "He's simply excellent."
His hair has thinned since then and turned gray. So has mine, actually. He has become rounder since then - so have I. Look at him and see us. Far from the demonstrations of the tents, the doctors, Bibi and Tibi, it was a pleasant summer evening. No less, but sadly no more. Simon of Simon and Garfunkel is the soundtrack of our youth, our first loves and those that followed. Thank you for the memories, Paul. Memories on troubled waters.