jessica (gobeyond) Tue 14 May 02 12:15
Wow. Do you still have all those photos of Oscar? As for the film, well, we have nude beaches and naked farmers, but artsy spiritual films... probably not gonna show around here...
Gary Lambert (almanac) Tue 14 May 02 17:48
Peter, one thread that recurs throughout the book is family -- starting with the formidable one into which you were born, of course -- but you also seem to have put quite a bit of thought into depicting the various kinds of supplementary (or perhaps substitute) families that many members of our generation seem to have sought and occasionally found over the years. And you bring things full circle in the final pages with your efforts to nurture a connection with your own son across the generational divide. Was this an integral part of your intention for the book from the beginning?
Peter Simon (paytesimon) Tue 14 May 02 19:02
Gary - I think you really hit the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to family - I almost think of "Rosebud" in Citizen Kane - the family he always wanted......My own family was special but dysfunctional - I kept searching for and occasionally finding my own special "fambly" (as described in my book, those folks who felt more like family than my "real" family).I'm not sure that it was my intent from the start, but it certainly evolved that way. I guess I feel "community" is the key: Be it the Dead, the Spirit, The Vineyard, the Rastas, the Well, the Nude Beaches, the Mets, or the communes. I'm a family man. My own family - Ronni, Willie and me - is flesh and blood. But I long/love to belong to extended families as well. There is such a special sense of "belonging" that has always meant so much. Thanx for noticing.....
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 15 May 02 07:34
Can you say more about Martha's Vineyard? I've never been there, and I'm fascinated by your photos of the place, and I've always heard it's a special place...?
Gerard Van der Leun (boswell) Thu 16 May 02 21:34
All you need to know about the Vineyard or Nantucket is the secret slogan for both places: "Why pay less?"
Jennifer Simon Wilson (nomis-refinnej) Fri 17 May 02 10:54
I don't want to derail the discussion here, but I was struck by what you had to say about family and just had to give you an extended family shout-out. I think we are fourth cousins, if I remember rightly what my father said years ago. Let's see, that would mean your Simon great-grandfather and mine shared a set of grandparents . . . that's pretty extended. I don't have any family stories that go back that far, but I have stories about my great-grandfather. I have to imagine what he might have told me about his grandfather to picture the connection. There's a welter of family along the way. When he was a young man, my dad visited briefly with your parents. They had just one or two very young children, so I'm not sure whether you were among them yet. I think the meeting of our fathers, third cousins, must have had a slightly awkward, obligatory formality to it. My dad was younger, at an earlier stage of life, and still carried with him the easy, less polished ways of a Nebraska childhood. He must have been a little intimidated, although he didn't tell it exactly that way. I did get the impression that your father seemed remote and successful. My brother and I, perhaps as the result of having our immediate family pared down to just the two of us, have that tendency to make up and add to our retinue of "fambly" (I like that). Or could be it's a Simon thang, like storytelling. Maybe I do have a question for you: is there a tradition of storytelling in your family, and does this influence your art?
pointy, but rarely undeservedly savage (vard) Fri 17 May 02 13:43
(just a note to observe that I have really enjoyed this interview, and that my Significant Other still sighs heavily when reminiscing about your sister's sultry performance of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the Mets' World Series party in 1986. Were you there too?)
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 17 May 02 17:36
This has been such an enjoyable conversation that I almost don't want to issue my usual "two weeks are up and thank you" note. In fact, there's no almost about it. I don't want to. These two weeks have sped by in a most enjoyable way. We loved having you, and we thank Gary for such spectacular questions and Peter for such spectacular responses. You are welcome to stick around and continue for as long as you like. Thanks again, Peter, and Gary!
Peter Simon (paytesimon) Sun 19 May 02 19:06
Hi there folks - - Thanx for your appreciation, Linda. This has been fun for me as well. Thanyou for all your thoughtful questions. I've been away for a few days, taking photos of John Hall's wedding (he of the group ORLEANS, by the way...)and was at the press run for my new 2003 calendar, and other fun stuff. Please check my website occasionally (petersimon.com)for various updates about my latest products and crazy life. And yes, pLEASE continue to wask questions as they crop up. Yes, I was at the world series party. You can get a version of that song on her boxed set, "Clouds In My Coffee." She's such a fan!! Jennifer, it was interesting to read your family history and see that it may have interesected....What do you do now and where do you live? Storytelling was always a fun part of my youth, but I don't recall that it was a MAJOR factor. We were more into card games and twernty questions, and charades. I still like to tell, a good tale every once and a while, a few of them appear in "I and EYE." For Jon and Gerard...yes the Islands ARE pricey, but mostly worth it. Jon, please read the section in "I and EYE" called "A Haven On The Vineyard." Then there is always "On The Vineyard" III which says it all. It's a special, spectacularly beautiful place, featuring a laid back, live and let live lifestyle. Also, there is hardly any crime to speak of. The only main problem are the PRICES for everything, especially housing. I'm lucky I bought a place here when I did...I could never afford it now!!!!I'm too sleepy to go into a longer dissertation right now, but there is quite a website here called mvol.com that can answer a lot of the basics. COME VISIT!!!
David Gans (tnf) Wed 4 Jun 08 10:58
Peter Simon has a new book: REGGAE SCRAPBOOK By Roger Steffens and Peter Simon. Illustrated. 152 pp. Insight Editions. $45. Rave review in the NYT last Sunday: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/books/review/Dreisinger-t.html >....Reggae Scrapbook, a dazzling homage to the music and its birthplace. >Simons magnificent photos are interspersed with his and Steffenss text >historical morsels, interviews with reggae greats, frontline reminiscences >about the music scene and replicated goodies from the archives: concert >handbills, autographed records, album covers, fliers promoting reggae shows >in places as far-flung as Israel and Germany. Their work is evidence that >fandom has all the trappings of religion: here are holy artifacts, tes- >timonials, even lists of places to worship (i.e., global reggae festivals). >The book is, above all, fun. Turning page after oversize page, ogling color- >ful collages and wondering what treats were in store next .
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