Why Did Paul Simon Retire from Touring? The Montauk Legend Explains

Paul Simon
Paul Simon, Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky/123RF

Short version: Paul Simon is just tired. On November 14, the Montauk resident sat down with CNN’s Christiana Amanpour to discuss the future of his career.

First off, fans need not panic: Simon clarifies that he will still perform, just not on tours anymore. After his last tour ended in September at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, almost poetically close to his hometown, Queens, Simon plans to reserve it for causes and smaller venues, “in concert halls that have a pristine sound and with perhaps different musicians that I admire and play a repertoire that is different from what I’ve been playing.”

Cross your fingers—let’s hope he’ll perform here in the Hamptons again. After performing for 70 years, the singer is tired mentally, believing he has reexamined his music as much as possible and now it’s time to stop, “think for a while, listen to music again, read, travel, stop and see what happens.”

The artist doesn’t believe legacy has any weight to it, but that won’t stop him from trying to help leave the environment in a better state for his children and grandchildren. During his second-to-last tour, he gave all the proceeds to the Half-Earth Project, and during this final tour, Simon donated $25,000 to a local charity or group in each city he played. To him, this is the most important thing, “and when I do perform again, that’s where I’ll give all the proceeds to.”

His former musical partner Art Garfunkel is performing at Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on Friday, November 23.

Simon recently surprised the attendees of the Montauk Music Festival in August at the Montauk Lighthouse, but, unfortunately, a heartfelt reunion doesn’t seem to be in the cards for those two.

“There’s too much damage that was done.” Simon said, “But, you know, it’s like somebody that I’ve known since I’m 11, so I understand. I understand—I think I understand why it happened, but I think it’s best to stay away. Stay away just for safety’s sake. And so, I do.”

While we may never enjoy the legendary duo again, we can still appreciate them as individuals.

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