Think about the past five years. What did you do? For Paul Simon, one ongoing project has largely shaped the period of his life since 2011 and finally, on June 3, it will be released. His Stranger to Stranger has been described as a more experimental record that incorporates echo and electronic beats with a more familiar African-influenced instrumentation. While it's clear how Simon spent his time of late, what about the rest of life? As a refresher, here are ten facts you may not know about Paul Simon.
Simon's upcoming album, Stranger to Stranger, is largely inspired/influenced by his 23-year-old son.
Simon told Rolling Stone his 23-year-old son turned him onto the artist Clap! Clap!, who provides electronic beats on three tracks.
Mrs. Robinson was almost Mrs. Roosevelt.
Contrary to common belief, the song "Mrs. Robinson" was not written for the film The Graduate. It was originally titled "Mrs. Roosevelt," with insinuations it was written about Eleanor Roosevelt. When the film's director decided to include the song on The Graduate soundtrack, its title was changed to more naturally accompany the film's storyline.
He met third wife Edie Brickell on the set of "Saturday Night Live."
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians were performing their hit "What I Am" on "Saturday Night Live" in 1988 when Brickell noticed Simon standing in the wings watching her. They met that night and later married in 1992. It is Simon's third marriage.
Simon and Art Garfunkel met in sixth grade.
Simon and Garfunkel were classmates and, allegedly, first met when they were 11 years old. They attended the same middle school and high school in Forest Hills, Queens, but later attended separate colleges, putting their career as a music duo on hold for a quick second.
Simon & Garfunkel first became a music duo under the name Tom & Jerry.
When the two realized they could harmonize so well together, they quickly began their career. But before they went by Simon & Garfunkel, they called themselves Tom & Jerry, the moniker under which they released the single "Hey Schoolgirl." It attained modest success.
Simon performed "The Boxer" on SNL's first episode following 9/11.
Simon performed on the first episode of "Saturday Night Live" following the 9/11 attacks. His performance followed the opening tribute that then New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani paid to the heroes who stood behind him on stage – as well as the many selfless individuals not present.
He was the first recipient of the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
In 2007, the Library of Congress created the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to recognize popular music's influence on culture. The annual award was first granted to Paul Simon "because of the depth, range and sheer beauty of his music, as well as its ability to bridge peoples and cultures," according to the official announcement.
Simon has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame first in 1990 for his part in the iconic duo Simon & Garfunkel, and again in 2001 as a solo artist. In 2015, Simon even had an exhibit at the Hall of Fame, Paul Simon: Words and Music, which covered both sides of his career.
Simon has released music under three other names aside from his own.
When first performing as a duo under the moniker of Tom & Jerry, Garfunkel went by Tom Graph and Simon went by Jerry Landis. Some years later, still not yet Simon & Garfunkel, Simon was going by the name Paul Kane while Garfunkel was known as Artie Garr. Then, in 1958, Simon released one of his first solo songs, "True of False," under the name True Taylor.
He is a member of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.
Both Garfunkel and Simon were members of AEPi in college. Garfunkel attended Columbia University, and Simon attended Queens College.