Paul Simon will return to his hometown of Queens, New York for the final concert of his farewell tour. Simon will close out his trek — and thus, his touring career — on Saturday, September 22nd at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, marking the venue’s first major concert event in decades. Simon spoke about the show in the official announcement, stating, “It seems more like fate than coincidence that I should do the final show on this final tour at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I could have ridden my bike from home to the park in about 20 minutes, when I was a kid. But this is less a goodbye than a farewell. Thank you all for the ride, I had a great time.” Simon will be donating all personal net-proceeds from the event to a previously-selected cause, which will be announced at a later date.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “When Paul Simon sings ‘Homeward Bound,’ there’s no doubt he means New York. The grit, beauty and complexity of this city are woven into Simon’s most haunting songs, and our greatest venues have formed the backdrop of his performing career. It’s only fitting that this son of Queens comes home to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.” Congressman Joseph Crowley added: “We’re so thrilled that Paul’s final concert will be held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, a stone’s throw away from his alma maters, Forest Hills High School and Queens College. Paul’s farewell performance will be a once-in-a-lifetime event and we’re so proud to share it with him here, in the borough of Queens.”
Paul Simon recalled how unlike today where every genre of music is subcategorized on radio, as a teen in Queens growing up in the 1950’s, he was exposed to everything on a daily basis: “When I grew up, radio was very eclectic and you could hear all kinds of different music on it, from, y’know, Frankie Lyman to Ray Charles to Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash and, y’know, doo wop to rhythm & blues to Sun — Sun Records and they were very kind of. . . Louisiana music — very different kinds of music, which was all just called ‘rock n’ roll,’ which I just thought of as all rock n’ roll.”
Photo Courtesy of Lester Cohen