PPW got in touch with Paul Simon fan RAYNA FORD, who was recently pulled up on stage to play her favorite song “DUNCAN” with the legend himself. Here is her PPW interview in full:
WATCH THE AMAZING VIDEO HERE!
PPW: What were your expectations for this concert compared to what actually happened by the end of the night?
RAYNA: To be honest, I really didn’t have any specific expectations for the show. Of course, I really hoped I would hear him sing “Duncan” but I knew I would be happy with whatever he performed. I have been a fan since I was a small child so I was simply in awe of the fact that I was actually going to see Paul Simon!!!! In my mind, there was just no way he could not be anything but amazing. Little did I know how truly amazing it would turn out to be.
Prior to the show, I had a dream that my husband and I got up on stage and sang “Duncan” with Paul Simon. We laughed and fantasized about it but i didn’t really think it would become a reality. I’ve always been a big dreamer….but seriously?! That concert was the most memorable night of my life. I feel truly privileged and honored to have had such a magical experience and to have been able to share it with so many others. I am most grateful!!
PPW: What does the song “Duncan” mean to you and why do you think you chose this song to learn guitar?
RAYNA: Well that is a true love story. I have always loved Paul Simon’s music and “Duncan” was one of my favorite songs! But one night many years ago, I was out at a bar and the wonderful man who would one day become my husband was playing “Duncan” on stage with his band. That night, I fell in love with that song and the man on stage who was singing it (although we didn’t actually get together until a decade later) I was so inspired that I bought my first guitar soon after and gradually learned to play “Duncan”. I truly wanted to sing that song so I could make others feel as wonderful as I felt when I heard it that night.
PPW: Do you believe in fate?
RAYNA: I believe in Karma. Although it is not always easy, I feel that you must always try to send out positive energy into the world. I feel that a good attitude can help you and others around you and thus, changes the world in some small way. I wouldn’t like to think that anything is preordained. It is my hope that we have some say in our own destiny, even if our influence is only a miniscule one.
PPW: You were noticeably shaking in the video. I probably would have passed out. Can you try to articulate the feelings you had making your way on to stage and playing Duncan?
RAYNA: Getting up to play on stage is a blur. When Paul Simon waved me onstage, I remember looking at my husband Rod and bursting into tears. Rod just looked at me and said “Go Go!!!” Once I finally got onstage (and I must thank the security guard who helped me up because I was such a dead weight), I felt like I was in a trance. I just couldn’t believe I was face to face with Paul Simon.
To be honest, I had to look at the Youtube video to remember what I was thinking in the moment. I remember putting on the guitar and looking at the crowd and thinking “WOW”. I simply couldn’t believe I was standing on stage with my musical idol, playing his guitar with his incredible band backing me up. Also, to have all these wonderful people in the audience cheering me on was a moment that words cannot describe.
PPW: How has this experience changed your life?
Well, on a superficial level, I have been regularly recognized on the street… which is pretty darn cool. But, I think mostly it has filled my heart with joy. I am so moved by the way people have responded to all this. We live in a world that has so much sadness in the media. So, to know that something I was involved in has made so many people smile, it warms my heart and fills me with a great deal of pride.
I am so grateful for this experience.
PPW: Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say thank you again to you and everyone involved in making this such a memorable moment in my life. I wish I could express the pure joy I feel inside to you all, but then again I think the Youtube video is quite self-explanatory.
Peace and Love,
Dreams DO come true. On May 7th, 2011 Rayna Ford went to see Paul Simon in Toronto at The Sound Academy. Before she knew it, she was invited on stage by the legend himself to play and sing the song she learned to play guitar on. The video gives the PPW staff chills. In her husband’s words as pulled from the video description:
“This is one of the most magical moments of our lives.
My wife Rayna told me prior to the show that she had a dream that she would get up on stage and play “Duncan” with Paul. Naturally, we giggled about this prospect. Nonetheless, when we were in the second row, Rayna continued to request this song. He heard her in the audience and told her he would play it. She told him that “Duncan” was the first song she had learned on guitar. As a result, Mr. Simon asked her to join him on stage and play the song. It was truly a wonderful moment that we will never forget in our lives.
Mr. Simon and his band and staff were absolute sweethearts to us throughout the show and in meeting them backstage. Also, we would like to thank all of our friends and well wishers for their kind words and congratulations.
It has truly been a whirlwind as we have since had interviews with the CBC (Local and National) and NTV (Local Newfoundland News Station).
It was a moment of a lifetime.”
In this alternate video, shot by her husband, you can hear his reaction, and him calling out chord changes. I don’t even know you guys and I love you. Unbelievable. PPW congratulates you both on this epic dream come true.
READ THE PPW INTERVIEW WITH RAYNA FORD HERE!!
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