Paul Simon Announces Farewell Concert

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It looks as if Paul Simon could be finally hanging up his guitar for good after more than sixty years – sixty years! – of writing and performing. It was announced this week that he has scheduled a concert for July 15 at Hyde Park in London that is being officially billed as Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance. The concert will also feature James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, and tickets are going on sale on February 2nd. The news comes just a week after Elton John announced that his next tour will be his last. I guess it’s the kind of announcement we should eventually expect from most aging Rockers.

However at this point, we don’t know for sure that this concert will mark an official retirement for Simon, or whether he’s pulling a fast one on his fans again. After all he played another “Farewell” show at the same venue in 1993 when he was reunited with Art Garfunkel, and obviously he kept going strong long after that. In fact his 2016 album Stranger To Stranger was an excellent and highly-acclaimed piece of work that showed an artist still exploring new sounds and directions, dabbling in electronica and the avant-garde. This guy has been showing no signs of slowing down, let alone giving it up for good.

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On the other hand Simon has been hinting a lot in recent years that the end was near. In 2016 he told the New York Times that he was “coming towards the end. Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me … 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?”

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. If it is indeed a farewell we can probably expect a media orgy in July as if the guy was dying. Or maybe he will continue to write and record and simply no longer tour. Let’s hope the latter is the case. I simply cannot imagine a world in which Paul Simon is no longer writing new songs.

Photo credit: By Matthew Straubmuller (imatty35) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35/5766935439/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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