Paul Simon Finds Performing Difficult After Losing 'Most Of The Hearing' In His Left Ear

24 May 2023 | 9:47 am | Mary Varvaris

"Everything became more difficult...”

Photo of Paul Simon

Photo of Paul Simon (Credit: Myrna Suarez)

In a new interview with UK newspaper The Times, Paul Simon revealed that he’s lost “most of the hearing” in his left ear.

During the interview, Simon detailed that the life-altering condition began while he was recording 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 shared. “So everything became more difficult.”

At first, Simon admitted that he felt “frustration and annoyance” but hoped that his ear would “repair itself.” Rather than sink into despair, the Graceland singer reframed how he thought about things and found a way to make life easier.

Simon stepped away from touring in 2018 and has only done the odd live performance since. In his interview with The Times, he admitted he would get sick of some songs while on the road.

“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?’”

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“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.’”

Seven Psalms was released last week (19 May) and is Simon’s first new album in seven years.

The album was inspired by a dream Simon had where he was visited by King David’s Psalms in a dream back in 2019.

Seven Psalms arrived with a companion documentary entitled In Restless Dreams, directed by Alex Gibney. Variety notes that Simon described the album as follows: “On January 15th, 2019, I had a dream that said ‘You are working on a piece called Seven Psalms.

"The dream was so strong that I got up and I wrote it. But I had no idea what that meant. Gradually information would come. I would start to wake up two or three times a week between 3:30 and 5 in the morning, and words would come, I’d write ’em down, then start to put it together.”

He continued, This is a journey for me to complete. This whole piece is really an argument I’m having with myself about belief or not.”

You can listen to Seven Psalms here.