Paul Simon announces last tour - cites death of Vincent N’guini

05 February 2018 - 19:50
By Timeslive

Legendary American singer-songwriter Paul Simon says that while not the only reason‚ the recent death of his African-born lead guitarist Vincent N’guini is a contributing factor in his decision to stop touring.

Simon announced on Monday that his upcoming "Homeward Bound — The Farewell Tour" which will take him across North America‚ starting in May‚ and end in London in July with special guests James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt‚ will be his last tour.

Simon’s 1986 Grammy-award-winning album Graceland featured many South African musicians and groups‚ including five-time Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

In a statement on Monday‚ Simon said he had often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where he would consider bringing his performing career to a natural end.

“Now I know: it feels a little unsettling‚ a touch exhilarating‚ and something of a relief‚” the artist said.

“I love making music‚ my voice is still strong‚ and my band is a tight‚ extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. Sadly‚ we lost our lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years‚ Vincent N’guini‚ who died last December. His loss is not the only reason I’ve decided to stop touring‚ but it is a contributing factor. Mostly‚ though‚ I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing. I’d like to leave with a big Thank You to the many folks around the world who’ve come out to watch me play over the last 50 years.

“After this coming tour‚ I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall‚ and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organisations‚ particularly those whose objective is to save the planet‚ ecologically.

“Once again‚ I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and‚ of course‚ most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts‚” the statement‚ posted on Simon’s Twitter account‚ read.

Guitarist and composer N’guini was born in Cameroon in 1952. He died in Brazil on December 8.