25 years since “Graceland”

Paul Simon’s Graceland introduced me to rhythms and harmonies not readily available on Norwegian TV or radio when I was small, and as the only African music in my father´s record collection, it was ravenously explored before I was old enough to get records of my own.

As I moved into puberty and became exposed to a lot of Scatman John, Haddaway and melancholy Swedish rock, I forgot about Graceland for a while, until my 20s when I borrowed the CD from the public library in Bergen and taped it on a Mini Disc which I listened to whilst jogging. To my surprise I found that it was possible to wear out a Mini Disc as the album proved to be the perfect companion for my runs around the Store Lundegårds bay area in Bergen. It´s probably the only album I have on multiple formats: vinyl (My father’s), Cassette (copied), CD (stolen), Mini Disc (worn out) and data files (Wav and MP3). That must mean it’s my number one album of all time, right? THE Desert Island Disc.

The fact that Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are literally playing in the field next to the Casiokids studio at Bergen Kjøtt July 26th this year makes me feel very excited indeed. I had an idea the other day that we should open the window and play our way through the album together with Paul Simon, but I quickly scrapped it thinking it might be a bit too weird. Let us just enjoy what’s already there, brilliant in whichever format.



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