Renowned singer and songwriter Paul Simon has recently revealed that he has lost most of the hearing in his left ear.
The 81-year-old shared in an interview with The Times that while making his latest album, “Seven Psalms,” he noticed his hearing was deteriorating.
Simon also disclosed that he is recovering from a bout of COVID, which has further compounded his health issues.
Simon expressed his frustration at losing most of the hearing in his left ear, saying, “Quite suddenly I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it.
So everything became more difficult.”
He had hoped that his hearing would return to normal, but unfortunately, it has not repaired itself.
The hearing loss may impact Simon’s ability to perform live, although the musician admitted that it might not be such a bad thing, as it allows him to stop performing songs he’s no longer interested in.
“Sometimes there are songs that I like, and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f— are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during You Can Call Me Al.”
In 2018, Simon announced his retirement from touring, citing the travel and time away from his wife and family as reasons for his decision.
He wrote on social media, “I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing,” adding, it “feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.”
Despite his hearing loss, Simon has continued to concentrate on making music.
His latest album, “Seven Psalms,” came to him in a dream in 2019.
Reflective about mortality and death, the album features a duet with his wife of over 30 years, Edie Brickell, and includes a song titled “Wait.”
The lyrics of the first verse of “Wait” are particularly poignant, with Simon singing, “I’m not ready, I’m just packing my gear/ Wait/ My hand’s steady/ My mind is still clear.”
In the final section of the song, Brickell joins Simon, singing, “Heaven is beautiful/ It’s almost like home/ Children, get ready/ It’s time to come home.”
The haunting lyrics of the album took a toll on Simon during the interview, and he teared up as he discussed them.
“It’s a spooky thing to be writing something and just be thinking, ‘Oh, this is what the song needs,’” he said.
“And then it’s, ‘By the way, this is about you.
You’re actually the subject of this.’”
Simon also reflected on his mortality and that of his peers, saying, “It’s just the age we’re at.
Gordon Lightfoot just passed away; Jeff Beck too.
My generation’s time is up.”
Despite these thoughts, Simon’s latest album continues to receive positive reviews and is available on all major music streaming services and for purchase.