Fresh from its run at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the new touring exhibit Paul Simon: Words & Music has opened at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles—making its only West Coast stop. On display through September 10, the exhibit chronicles Simon’s life and creative process through autobiographical films, concert footage, and more than 80 artifacts. Simon helps tell his own story through exclusive interviews—gathered by the show’s curators at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum—which aim to illustrate how his music reflects social and cultural ideals. Several of Simon’s iconic guitars are on display: his first-ever guitar, a beat-up Stadium; the 1967 Guild F-30-NT that he used to write and record most of Simon & Garfunkel’s canon; a black Yamaha signature series custom acoustic; plus several ’60s-era photographs of Simon holding acoustic guitars, and handwritten lyrics to some of his best-loved songs, including the final version of “American Tune.” For more information, visit skirball.org.
Below is a fine version of Simon and his band performing “The Boxer” in Paris a few years ago:
And here is a hand-written lyric sheet for the song “Graceland.”
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.