Paul Simon Opens Up About Hearing Loss: 'I Haven't Accepted It'

By Katrina Nattress

September 11, 2023

2023 Toronto International Film Festival - "In Restless Dreams: The Music Of Paul Simon" Premiere
Photo: Getty Images North America

In May, Paul Simon revealed that he suddenly, and without explanation, lost almost all hearing in his left ear. The iconic singer-songwriter opened up about the impairment. which has made it challenging to perform live, during a Q&A at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend.

“I haven’t accepted it entirely, but I’m beginning to,” he began (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Usually, when I finished an album I went out and toured with it, and then I have the opportunity to really investigate the piece. And then it evolves to another standard, and goes further.”

“Although a week from now I’m going to try and work with two guitarists who will play the parts that I played on the record [2023’s Seven Psalms], and see if I can sing the piece,” he added. “I’m not sure how I can integrate my voice with the guitars.”

Though it's been challenging to perform, Simon still plays guitar at home. “I play the guitar every day. It’s the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively. But it’s also where I go for solace. If I’m feeling … ‘whatever,’” he explained. “It’s a very crucial thing to me. You know, something happens to you when you have some sort of disability that changes your awareness or changes how you interact with life.”

Paul Simon
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