Paul Simon Explains Why He’s Saying Farewell

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In 2016, Paul Simon had indicated that his touring days would soon be over. And today (Feb. 5), when he announced his Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour that will encompass shows across North America, the U.K. and Europe, he explained the factors that led to his decision. (Tickets are available here and here.)

In a post on his Facebook page, Simon cited several reasons. One was the death in December of  his band’s “lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years, Vincent N’guini.” The singer-songwriter’s primary reason? “I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing.”

Here’s Simon’s entire statement:

“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.

“I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. Sadly, we lost our lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years, Vincent N’guini, who died last December. His loss is not the only reason I’ve decided to stop touring, but it is a contributing factor. Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing. I’d like to leave with a big Thank You to the many folks around the world who’ve come out to watch me play over the last 50 years.

“After this coming tour, I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall, and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organizations, particularly those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically.

“Once again, I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”

Upon N’guini’s death, Simon wrote: “[He} was the most creative musician I’ve ever worked with.”

Watch Simon (and N’guini) perform a Graceland favorite

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