On this day in 1999, Yankee Stadium celebrated Joe DiMaggio Day with Paul Simon performing ‘Mrs. Robinson’, which contains the classic line, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?”
A few years after ‘Mrs. Robinson’ became No. 1 on the charts, Paul Simon had this to say about his experience with the song and Joe DiMaggio..
“I found myself dining at an Italian restaurant where DiMaggio was seated with a party of friends. I’d heard a rumor that he was upset with the song and had considered a lawsuit, so it was with some trepidation that I walked over and introduced myself as its composer. I needn’t have worried: he was perfectly cordial and invited me to sit down, whereupon we immediately fell into conversation about the only subject we had in common.”
”What I don’t understand,” he said, ”is why you ask where I’ve gone. I just did a Mr. Coffee commercial, I’m a spokesman for the Bowery Savings Bank and I haven’t gone anywhere.”
“I said that I didn’t mean the lines literally, that I thought of him as an American hero and that genuine heroes were in short supply. He accepted the explanation and thanked me. We shook hands and said good night.”