Paul Simon denies blocking Latvian play

Sept. 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. singer-songwriter Paul Simon says he had nothing to do with the recent cancellation of a performance of the stage play "The Sound of Silence" in Sweden.

The Local said Universal Music's Nordic headquarters had a Latvian theater company's planned performance in Stockholm last week canceled, claiming the troupe doesn't have the performance rights to the music.

The show uses music by Simon and Garfunkel as it follows 14 young Latvians after the duo's scheduled 1968 concert in Riga was scrapped.

"It was with great disappointment that I got the message that the very much foreseen play could not be performed in Stockholm. According to your representatives in Stockholm you personally have engaged in the matter and would not allow performance," The Local quoted Madeleine Sjostedt -- vice mayor of culture and sports for the city of Stockholm -- as saying in a letter to Simon, one half of the duo, Simon and Garfunkel.

However, Simon's spokesman, Eddie Simon, insists the singer-songwriter had nothing to do with the cancellation of the play, which has already been performed in Canada, Germany, France, Finland, Latvia and Austria.

"As we discussed, Universal Publishing does not speak for Mr. Simon in this matter. Universal represents Mr. Simon in routine publishing matters in Sweden and other countries, but our relationship does not include rights relating to the theater. I am confident we can clear this matter up in a few days," Eddie Simon reportedly said in a letter to Sjostedt, which followed a similar phone call Simon made to Sjostedt.

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