Paul Simon Says Retirement Is Imminent

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Picture via Paul Simon Facebook page

Picture via Paul Simon Facebook page

“You’re coming towards the end,” Paul Simon told The New York Times yesterday (6/28). “Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me. None.”

At age 74, the classic rock singing and songwriting icon plans to wrap up his musical career soon. “It’s an act of courage to let go,” Simon says. “I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that’s gone, if you have to make up yourself, who are you?”

Related: Simon’s Stranger to Stranger album reviewed

He began making music at age 13 some 61 years ago, the Times notes, adding, “At 74, he often needs 15 hours of sleep at a stretch. The other day, performing in Philadelphia, he looked out from the stage and was surprised to see four mountains on the horizon. When he put on his glasses, he realized the mountains were actually big white tents. His voice has held up far longer than he had any right to expect but needs frequent days of rest.”

Yet in his seniority, Simon continues to musically progress and innovate and make music with mass market appeal. “While most stars of his generation, unsurprisingly, are playing greatest hits concerts, if anything, Mr. Simon’s new album is competing with those of Drake and Beyoncé on pop music charts, and with Radiohead and Deerhoof for college radio airtime,” observes the Times.

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On Friday (7/1), he wraps up his latest North American tour at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in the Queens, NY neighborhood where he grew up and started making music with Art Garfunkel. The venue is where Simon & Garfunkel played the final show of their original career in July 1970. But as the Times explains, ‘Mr. Simon insists that the place holds no sentimental power over him, but he did note that it was the last venue where he played with Mr. Garfunkel, from whom he is estranged, as he has sporadically been since they became adults.” Any fans expecting Simon to take his final bow with Garfunkel by his side should set aside any hopes.

Related: Paul Simon concert review.

Simon will play a European tour this fall. Following that, his plans remain open, maybe “drift and travel for a year, he said, perhaps with his wife, the musician and composer Edie Brickell, if her work permits,” the Times reports.

“I don’t have any fear of it,” Simon says of ending his musical career. He does, however, have a healthy wariness about the celebrity his success has brought him. “I’ve seen fame turn into absolute poison when I was a kid in the ’60s,” he says. “It killed Presley. It killed Lennon. It killed Michael Jackson. I’ve never known anyone to have gotten an enormous amount of fame who wasn’t, at a minimum, confused by it and had a very hard time making decisions.”

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. yadgirl
    #1 yadgirl 30 June, 2016, 00:29

    He’s one of the best writers and musicians, ever. I’ve loved his music and admired his talent since the 70’s.

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