Paul Simon penned Homeward Bound in either Ditton or Halebank stations in Widnes, while waiting for a train back to Brentwood, where he was living with his girlfriend. Yes, it was Brentwood that made him get all poetic.He made his UK debut at the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood in 1964 and met Kathy Chitty there, the inspiration for Kathy’s Song and America. She was a 17-year-old Essex girl on the door selling tickets to men in cord jackets. They dated for two years until Paul returned to the US. Kathy now lives in Wales and maintains a diplomatic sound of silence on all Simon-related subjects. Although we can picture her as a slightly folksier version of Amy Childs.
All facts are from Pete May's new book The Joy of Essex (Robson Press).