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Paul Simon Comes Home to Queens, NY; Fans Say He’d Be “Crazy” to Retire “After All These Years”


Paul Simon performs in August 2015; Kevin Mazur/WireImageDespite the success of his new album Stranger to Stranger, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard album chart, Paul Simon recently told the New York Times, “Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me.”  He also said he wanted to “see what happens if I let it go.” Well, if he does, he’ll make a lot of fans very unhappy.

On Thursday night, Simon played the first of two shows in his hometown of Queens, New York.  The show took place at Forest Hills Stadium, which he last played in July of 1970 with his former musical partner Art Garfunkel. It was the duo’s last show before breaking up.  While he has a European tour scheduled for the fall, if Simon does retire, those two shows would be his last ones ever in the U.S.

While one fan at Thursday’s concert was skeptical of Simon’s talk of retirement, others were upset about the 74-year-old legend’s hint that he’s hanging up his guitar.  “He should not give up music,” said one fan. “Paul Simon should perform here [in Forest Hills Stadium] every summer for the next ten years!” 

Another fan noted, “I’m very sad at the thought that he would retire…[and] sad if this is his last concert, but he’s entitled to retirement like the rest of us.”

Simon didn’t seem like a man ready for retirement on Thursday, as he led his nine-piece band through a 27-song set that included music from every stage of his career.  He performed Simon & Garfunkel classics like “Homeward Bound,” early solo hits like “Mother and Child Reunion,” hits from Graceland like “You Can Call Me Al,” and material from his most recent few albums. 

He also described the experience of being back at Forest Hills Stadium as a “time warp” and “a beautiful dream.”

Here’s the set list:

“Boy in the Bubble”
“Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”
“Dazzling Blue”
“That Was Your Mother”
“Slip Sliding Away”
“Mother & Child Reunion”
“Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard”
“Spirit Voices”
“The Obvious Child”
“Stranger to Stranger”
“Homeward Bound”
“El Condor Pasa/Duncan”
“The Werewolf”
“The Cool Cool River”
“Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes”
“You Can Call Me Al”
“I Know What I Know”
“Still Crazy After All These Years”
“That’s All Right” [Elvis Presley cover, tribute to Elvis’ late guitarist Scotty Moore]
“Late in the Evening”
“One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor”
“The Boxer”
“American Tune”

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