Paul Simon has announced a “Farewell” show at London’s Hyde Park set for next July 15th. The show, which will also feature James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt as his opening acts, is currently the singer-songwriter’s only scheduled concert. Rolling Stone posted that the gig is billed as “Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance,” and will close out the Park’s annual 10-day British Summer Time Festival, which this year also features full performances by Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, the Cure, Bruno Mars, and others. So far, there has been no official statement from Simon regarding retiring from the road and/or recording other than the Hyde Park show announcement and its somewhat ominous concert billing.
Fans became nervous when in June 2016, Paul Simon told The New York Times he has wondered how pausing his career would affect his creativity. In August 2016, Simon made it clear he’s not retiring, and during Simon’s chat with Washington insider David Axelrod on his The Axe Files podcast, Simon explained, “The truth is I didn’t say that I was going to stop. I said, ‘I think it would be interesting to stop for a period time.’ If I denied the normal course of my creative impulses, if I denied them their destination in the form of a song or music, I thought this could be interesting to see what will I think of. . . I feel like I am actually at the top.”
Paul Simon has always rated his creative autonomy as the most important by-product of being an active songwriter and musician: “I always pursued a course that seemed interesting to me and that I hoped would be interesting to someone else, y’know — to a lot of people, I hoped. But if it didn’t, or if it wasn’t — I never had any intention of changing. Actually, I don’t think I could have been, or am, capable of changing.”
Photo Courtesy of Mary Ellen Matthews