There is nothing quite like live music and with the subsequent power of television to spread the experience, we are fortunate that we don’t always have to be there in the room to enjoy it. Fresh from a short Northeast tour with Jesse Terry, this performance of ‘Homeward Bound’ by Paul Simon and George Harrison is particularly pertinent. Whilst it was the local TV show ‘Cookin’ in The Kitchen’ which introduced me to Terry in 2016, this video, from the American late-night show ‘Saturday Night Live’ forty years earlier in 1976, demonstrates that actually not much has changed in the life of a touring musician.
Simon & Harrison’s tremendous blend of vocals neatly disguise the often loneliness and despair that can go hand in hand “on a tour of one-night stands” and it would seem from the lyrics that writer Simon, at least, had first-hand experience of that. A distinct parallel to the fact I quite literally left Terry at the station with his ticket to his destination. The reality of travelling by train with a “suitcase and guitar in hand” clearly not as romantic as the song may seem to suggest. However, fortunately for us music lovers, musicians and singer-songwriters alike continue to make what seems like a disproportionate effort to bring the music to us.
Enjoy the performance but also, where possible, let’s give a little thought to those troubadours and make sure to get in the room to support them to keep music live.