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Paul Simon Says He ‘Lost Most of the Hearing in My Left Ear,’ May Not Return to Live Performances

The Grammy-winning artist said the hearing loss “came on quite suddenly” while writing his new album

Paul Simon shared that he has lost most of the hearing in his left ear, which may impact his live performances.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artist, half of American folk duo Simon & Garfunkel, opened up about his hearing loss during an interview with the Times of the U.K. Simon said his hearing loss happened while he was penning the music for his new album, Seven Psalms. “Quite suddenly, I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” he said. “So everything became more difficult.”

The 81 year-old singer-songwriter said that at first he felt “frustration and annoyance,” but thought the condition would pass and “repair itself.” When his hearing did not comeback, the musician questioned his ability to return to performing live, before reframing his mindset.

“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them. Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the fuck are you doing, Paul?’” he explained. “Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”


During the interview, Simon also talked about how Covid-19 “has left him physically frail.”

“Boy, have I been beaten up in these last couple of years,” the legendary singer said. “But I look good, right?”

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