This is the end of an era, but after all, we know that all our music heroes will sooner or later retire or drop dead on stage like so many of them already have… And when it comes to heroes and icons, it is much better to hear about retirement than anything else, right?
According to many news outlets, 76-year-old musician Paul Simon has announced his retirement, with a Farewell show in London this summer as part of the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park. On July 15th, ‘Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance’ will be Simon’s last concert ever, during which he will be joined by James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.
Of course, the singer songwriter was part of the famous duo Simon and Garfunkel in the 60s, before becoming a solo artist for almost 5 decades, as his last album, ‘Stranger to Stranger’, was released in 2016. Simon had been toying with the idea of retirement for a little while, as he declared in 2016: ‘It’s an act of courage to let go, 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?’
At the time, he was preparing for a European tour, and it seems that the dates across the US during the following year, will be his last ones ever.
Simon had a major comeback in 1986 with his very successful album ‘Graceland’ which made him win a Grammy, but it is very sad to realize that several musicians who had collaborated to Simon’s most famous work, have passed away recently: Cameroonian musician and long time friend Vincent Nguini died last December at 65, South African Ray Phiri died last July at 60, and of course Hugh Masekela, who had played with Simon during his 1987 African concert in Zimbabwe, also died just last week.
May be all these events have contributed to Simon’s decision. For his last show, he is going back to his sources, as he wrote ‘Homeward Bound’ on a England rail station platform, when he was touring the UK solo around 1965, before his success as Simon & Garfunkel. We have to wonder, will we be hearing the same announcement from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan anytime soon? When this happens, it will definitively be the end of an era.
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