So that’s it. Forty six years after his solo career began, fifty-something after Simon & Garfunkel became all the rage and part of the culture, Paul Simon’s touring career ended the other day, without fanfare, in Flushing Meadow Park. He acted same set he’d literally last few nights. There was no Art Garfunkel, just five S&G songs, no “Slip Sliding Away.” No “Mrs. Robinson.” A variety of throwaway “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the heart of the set.
He’s this is not on the duvet of either The big apple tabloid today either. If Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen had retired, you already know we’d often hear over it in a big way. At Elton John’s final show they’ll probably shoot him beyond a cannon. But Simon? He decided using a whimper, not only a bang.
What a wierd ending. He didn’t frequently care the way it was perceived, either. There were literally hardly any press tickets given away for free. The sets for the shows are not particularly retrospective. Along with what sounded like an off hand comment with the first show– “Strange times…don’t give up”– was apparently scripted for anyone three Big apple shows. We think it is profound about the first night. Reading about it many times once the shows was…disappointing.
Still, that first show at MSG on Thursday night was at itself a victor, like Simon’s regular performances. The musicianship was of the highest quality. Dealing with his regular band, he created the revolutionary York based Y Music Ensemble, who had been a revelation. As he’s carried out with African musicians, Simon didn’t appropriate anything– he showcased Y Music and integrated their own classical sensibility into his or her own universe.
Simon says he’ll travel more given that he doesn’t have got to tour. Okay, it’s unlike anyone was stopping him from doing anything. He also says he’ll keep composing music, and that is all right since his previous few albums– like “Surprise” and “Stranger to Stranger” — have already been among his best regardless of whether they weren’t commercial hits.
But maybe sooner or later before it’s already happened he’ll indulge the fans, broker a peace with Garfunkel, and have a truly satisfying finale within my, his, and our little town.