One-Trick Pony (film)
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|Directed by||Robert M. Young|
|Produced by||Michael Tannen|
|Written by||Paul Simon|
|Music by||Paul Simon|
|Edited by||Edward Beyer
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|3 October 1980|
The song "Late in the Evening", from the film's soundtrack, hit #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. After years of being available only on videocassette and laserdisc, in 2009 the film was released by Warner Brothers on DVD.
Simon plays Jonah Levin, a once-popular folk rock star who has not had a hit in ten years, and who now opens for punk rock bands. He is trying to record a new album, but faces a number of obstacles, including a trendy but talentless producer who is trying to convince him to have sex with her, and an indifferent record company which is pressuring him for something that will sell. He is also trying to restore his relationship with his former wife and his young son. The character wears a baseball cap for much of the film.
The film has been said  to be based on experiences in Simon's professional and personal life. Walter Fox, the record company executive portrayed by Rip Torn, was rumored to be based on Walter Yetnikoff, who was President of CBS Records, Simon's former label, in the '70s. (Simon went to Warner Bros. Records at the time of the film's release. The label, owned by the film's distributor, acquired the masters of Simon's CBS catalog that same year.) The film featured the last appearance of the original members of The Lovin' Spoonful, in a simulated TV show appearance.
The One-Trick Pony album was released concurrently. All of the songs on the album are featured in the film, most in a differently mixed version; e.g. the song "Jonah" features a harmonica solo (probably by Toots Thielemans) that is removed from the album version. The film contains one Paul Simon song not featured on the original album, Jonah Levin's fictional sixties hit "Soft Parachutes".
- Paul Simon as Jonah Levin
- Blair Brown as Marion
- Rip Torn as Walter Fox
- Joan Hackett as Lonnie Fox
- Allen Garfield as Cal van Damp
- Mare Winningham as Modeena Dandridge
- Michael Pearlman as Matty Levin
- Lou Reed as Steve Kunelian
- Steve Gadd as Danny Duggin
- Eric Gale as Lee-Andrew Parker
- Tony Levin as John Dibatista
- Richard Tee as Clarence Franklin
- Harry Shearer as Bernie Wepner
- Daniel Stern as Hare Krishna
- "Oxford English Dictionary, Third edition, June 2004; online version March 2011".
- Oregon Pioneer Assoc. 32nd Ann. Reunion. 1905. p. 264.
- Jackson, Laura. (2002). Paul Simon: The Definitive Bio. New York: Citadel Press. p 163