That is worth some money

I see that Paul Simon has sold off his songs, much like Bob Dylan recently did. No one's even ventured a guess as to what Simon got for his catalog from Sony. Dylan sold for $300 million, according to reports at the time of his sale, although now they're saying "nearly $400 million." Meanwhile, Stevie Nicks got $100 million!

Why would Simon sell now? Maybe for the same reasons as Dylan. They're old men; it would be easier for their families to manage an investment portfolio than a bunch of music copyrights. Taxes are relatively low at the moment. Or maybe the old bards think their catalogs are at the top of their markets these days. With digital streaming, musicians are getting ripped off left and right. Perhaps these guys figure that they're bailing out for maximum dollars.

For me, it's not really possible to think of the writings of Paul Simon in monetary terms. What's "The Boxer" worth? The songs on the "Old Friends/Bookends" album? It's borderline sacrilegious to put money anywhere near them.

I've had friends over the years who knew the business side of show business. Their ability to enjoy art was sometimes tempered by their consciousness of the bottom line. They'd stand in the mosh pit at a Bruce concert, but they'd be thinking, "He's netting a million before taxes tonight." They'd go to the movies and say of an actor, "He's got major B.O.," meaning "box office." I was always too much of a fan for that kind of analysis.

Whatever Paul Simon is getting, it will never matter as much as the holes in the knees of Lincoln Duncan's jeans.


  1. I think we're witnessing the end of an era. For the life of me. in some not too distant future, I can't see anyone paying major dough for the catalogs of what is being passed off for music these days. Perhaps I'm just getting old and maybe my folks were saying the same thing about music from their generation, but . . . .


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