Los Lobos, above, not being ripped off.
Did Paul Simon completely rip off Los Lobos for the last song on Graceland? Steve Berlin says yes and said so back in April 2006 in this interview for Jambase. The song in question is “All Around the World.” According to Berlin, they were called in by a WB exec to jam with Simon and they shared a song that was going to turn up on “By the Light of the Moon.”
I remember he played me the one he did by John Hart, and I know John Hart, the last song on the record. He goes, “Yeah, I did this in Louisiana with this zy decko guy.” And he kept saying it over and over. And I remember having to tell him, “Paul, it’s pronounced zydeco. It’s not zy decko, it’s zydeco.” I mean that’s how incredibly dilettante he was about this stuff. The guy was clueless.
It was ridiculous. I think David starts playing “The Myth of the Fingerprints,” or whatever he ended up calling it. That was one of our songs. That year, that was a song we started working on By Light of The Moon. So that was like an existing Lobos sketch of an idea that we had already started doing. I don’t think there were any recordings of it, but we had messed around with it. We knew we were gonna do it. It was gonna turn into a song. Paul goes, “Hey, what’s that?” We start playing what we have of it, and it is exactly what you hear on the record. So we’re like, “Oh, ok. We’ll share this song.”
They thought Simon was going to cover one of their songs…nope. Anyway, it’s a fascinating read and, damn, I hate when I read something shitty about an artist I like!
By way of WMFU’s Beware of the Blog.