After more than half a century as one of rock’s greatest poet laureates, Paul Simon has announced that this spring’s tour will be his last.
“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,” the 76-year-old wrote in a statement shared on social media Monday morning. “Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief.”
He cites the death of his longtime lead guitarist, Vincent N’guini, in December as just one of the factors in his decision to retire from the road. “Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing,” he continues in the statement. “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.”
“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. 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.”
His final trek has been dubbed “Homeward Bound — the Final Tour,” named after his 1965 Simon and Garfunkel hit. The North American leg begins on May 16 in Vancouver, British Columbia before ending June 20 in Nashville. Tickets go on sale Friday via Simon’s website.
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Although he plans to quit traveling, he intends to play occasional live dates “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.”