Simon's 'Surprise'

Musician Paul Simon attends a press conference before "One Night Only: A Concert for Autism Speaks" at the Kodak Theatre on September 24, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
One of the real perks of my job is getting to meet people I admire.

Recently I sat down for a long interview with Paul Simon. He has a new recording out called "Surprise," which is terrific. Really good. The music is fresh.

He told me he creates his songs from the outside in. In other words, he creates a soundscape, in this case with the help of Brian Eno, then improvises until he finds the right melody and then writes the lyrics.

Well, Simon still has his chops at — are you ready? — 64 years of age. He's really smart. And really funny. And still completely jazzed by the creative process.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.