Simone speaks to Owl and Bear

The Duke & The King

Poetic Memory is a regular Owl and Bear feature in which musicians disclose their influences—whether it’s albums, songs, artists, or something random.

Joni Mitchell – Blue: Songs are like tattoos. My mother played this album when I was a small boy. It is the saddest, most beautiful honesty, like an angel caught in a strip-club.

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks: The poetry and the mood are untouchable; he made this in two days in New York City. They don’t make them like this no more.

Sam Cooke’s song ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’: I was born by the river in a little tent, and just like the river I’ve been running ever since.

Nelson Algren’s novel The Man With the Golden Arm: Chicago after WW2, a junky with a heart, a beat-up girl, don’t wanna give away the rest. Division street, where angels bruise and lose their routes to heaven.

My lilac tree: These small white flowers take me back to my first memories on earth, when people still smoked in hospitals, when life was new. A smell to remind me that every spring is the only spring.

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