I met Harper about a year ago at a small dinner I was at in New York. He had this endearing vulnerability about him, coupled with a little bit of nerd and a whole lot of marvelous eccentricity! He made for a very fun dinner guest and we have since remained friends. The son of Paul Simon, Harper has been making waves in his own right for years now. His first self-titled solo album was a hit, with some of the songs being used in the TV show “Girls”. This year he completed his second album “Division Street”. I met up with Harper when he popped over to NYC before embarking on a world wide tour to promote his new album.
Who is Harper Simon?
A continuum of mood swings.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to play guitar in a rock n roll band. But I didn’t really understand what it meant.
How did you get to be where you are?
I did everything wrong. I made terrible mistakes and bad judgements. I made bad work and I hurt myself and other people. Then I slowly began to get a little clarity.
If you could go back in time and give your 16 year old self some advice what would it be?
Cut your hair and stop thinking you know everything.
If the cupboard in your bedroom would lead you to another world what would your Narnia look like?
I’m not sure what it would look like but it would feel like love and acceptance.
By day you are a singer song writer, by night you are………?
I’m trying up develop a television show about art.
What was one of your favorite past projects?
Playing with Carl Perkins in Sun Studios in Memphis was the first thing that came to mind. I wouldn’t want to hear my contribution to that album at this point though. I would be embarrassed.
What are you working on now and what do you dream of happening in the future?
I’m touring my new album Division Street at the moment. I suppose I’d like to get more independent records and some film and television projects into production. Maybe even try to make some money. And figure out ways to be of service.
What song do you love that you keep secret cause it’s totes embarrassing to say publicly you like it?!
There are bubble gum songs like Tommy Roe’s Sweet Pea that I don’t know if its great but I like it a lot anyway.
Which version of “Long way home” do you prefer Norah Jones or Tom Waits?
I’m not familiar with either but I would bet that I would prefer the production of the Tom Waits version. I do think Norah Jones has a beautiful voice though.
Are you a morning person or night person?
I aspire to be a morning person.
Any advice for peeps just starting out?
Write the book you want to read.” I can’t remember who said that but it sounds like reasonable advice to me.