Six decades in and it looks like Paul Simon is about to call it a career.
In an interview with the New York Times, Simon says “Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me.” Despite the critical acclaim his latest album – Stranger to Stranger – has received, retirement appears to be the most logical route to take.
Other musical luminaries from Simon’s generation continue to tour – Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and others continue to traverse the states and travel internationally each year to sold out stadiums – but Simon’s decision may be based on more than that.
“It’s an act of courage to let go,” Simon says in the Times piece. “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?”
And at 74 years of age, Simon can’t ignore the physical signs either. Some nights pass where he needs 15 hours of sleep and his voice, while still sounding as good as ever, needs several days to properly recover after a performance. Even if his heart is still in it, Simon can’t ignore it; much like Eric Clapton, who will likely bring his career to an end due to nerve damage that makes playing guitar “hard work.”
With twelve GRAMMY wins, a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and an influence that casts itself around the globe, retirement shouldn’t leave Simon still crazy after all these years.