Paul Simon ‘The Life’ Authorized Biography Due

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On the eve of his farewell tour which begins May 16, Paul Simon is the subject of an authorized biography published on May 8. The book, Paul Simon: the life, from Simon & Schuster, is written by longtime Los Angeles Times music writer and editor Robert Hilburn, who spoke with the legendary musician for more than one hundred hours of interviews. The author also spoke with Simon’s ex-wives Carrie Fisher and Peggy Harper, who spoke for the first time.

Simon is one of the most beloved artists in American popular music history thanks to songs like “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “The Boxer” with Simon and Garfunkel and then with his decades-long solo career that has yielded such classic rock favorites as “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Graceland” and “You Can Call Me Al.”

As the announcement notes, however: “Simon is a deeply private person who has resisted speaking to us outside of his music. He has said he will not write an autobiography or memoir, and he has refused to talk to previous biographers.

“Finally, Simon has opened up to Hilburn, whose biography of Johnny Cash was named by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as one of her ten favorite books of 2013.” Order it here.

The announcement further describes the biography: “It begins in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, where, raised by a bandleader father and schoolteacher mother, Simon grew up with the twin passions of baseball and music. The latter took over at age twelve when he and schoolboy chum Art Garfunkel became infatuated with the alluring harmonies of doo-wop. Together, they became international icons, and then Simon went on to even greater artistic heights on his own.”

Related: Both Simon and Garfunkel are in our story: 15 Rockers’ Early Days: Before They Were Stars

The “But beneath the surface of his storied five-decade career is a roller coaster of tumultuous personal and professional ups and downs. From his remarkable early success with Garfunkel to their painfully acrimonious split; from his massive early hits as a solo artist to the wrenching commercial failures of One-Trick Pony and Hearts and Bones; and the historic comeback success of Graceland.”

For the book, Hilburn conducted in-depth interviews with scores of Paul Simon’s friends, family, colleagues, and others—including ex-wives Carrie Fisher and Peggy Harper, who spoke for the first time—and even penetrated the inner circle of Simon’s long-reclusive muse, Kathy Chitty.

Simon is the recipient of 16 Grammy Awards, three of which—Bridge over Troubled WaterStill Crazy after All These Years, and Graceland—were Album of the Year honorees. During his career, Simon has earned 29 Top 40 singles in the U.S. alone, with 14 of those reaching the Top 10, including “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (which reached #1), “Kodachrome,” “Loves Me Like A Rock,” “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Late In The Evening” and “You Can Call Me Al.”

Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour will encompass shows across North America, the U.K. and Europe, with Simon and his band bringing a career-spanning repertoire of timeless hits and classic songs.

Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour (Tickets are available here and here)

North America

May 16 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
May 18 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
May 19 – Portland, OR – MODA Center
May 22 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 23 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 25 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
May 27 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
May 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 30 – Denver, CO – Fiddler’s Green
Jun 01 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Arena
Jun 02 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
Jun 04 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
Jun 06 – Chicago, IL – United Center
Jun 08 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
Jun 10 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Center
Jun 12 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
Jun 13 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Jun 15 – Boston, MA TD – Garden
Jun 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
Jun 19 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
Jun 20 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena

U.K. and Europe

Jun 30 – Stockholm, Sweden – Ericsson Globe
Jul 01 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
Jul 03 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
Jul 05 – Antwerp, Belgium Sportpaleis
Jul 07 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
Jul 08 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
Jul 10 – Manchester, U.K. – Manchester Arena
Jul 11 – Glasgow, U.K. – SSE Hydro
Jul 13 – Dublin, Ireland* RDS Arena
Jul 15 – London, U.K.* – Hyde Park, BST Festival

* With Very Special Guests James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt


Best Classic Bands Staff

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