I have always liked Paul Simon's voice. It began when my Dad handed me an LP and said 'you can have this'. The cover showed two men walking down a track and looking back over their shoulders at the camera. They wore heavy coats and long scarves wrapped around their necks obscuring the lower parts of their faces. I think one of them was holding a cigarette and the whole portrait spoke the word winter and what it meant to be out on your own. Something like that, anyway. All I know is that the picture appealed to my melancholic adolescent disposition. The music was great too. Music, cover: each complimented the other. The antique quality, to my young eyes, of the sinking sun colour of the record's label. Each song told a story.
Of course, this music wasn't cool. I came in for much ribbing from school mates. Somehow this just added to the appeal. Each song on that album was a story. I could visualise the singer/narrator flying down the highway, trying to find 'somewhere, they can't find me.' Or the most peculiar man. I was even sure, even though it happened on a different continent, where the peculiar man lived. It was in a flat near the railway station. The kind of place where a man could be left alone with his books and poetry to protect him. Appropriately, the flat was on Gas Hill Lane.