Paul Simon reveals he has 'lost most of the hearing' in his left ear

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon is opening up about largely losing his hearing in his left ear, to the extent that he's not sure he'll be able to tour or perform live again.

The "Kodachrome" singer and former half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel told the British newspaper The Times that he developed hearing loss while recording his latest album, Seven Psalms, which was released May 19.

"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."

Simon, 81, noted that his initial reaction to the ailment was largely one of "frustration and annoyance." However, he said he wasn't mad about it at the time because "I thought it would pass, it would repair itself."

Paul Simon
Paul Simon

Christopher Polk/CBS via Getty Paul Simon

His hearing has yet to return, however, forcing him to reckon with the idea that he might not take the stage in the future. Then again, Simon also admitted that there are some songs in his catalog — including some of his most famous hits — that he prefers not to perform these days.

"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 f--- are you doing, Paul?'" he said. "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.'"

In addition to Simon's hearing loss, a bout of COVID-19 took a toll on him. "Boy, have I been beaten up in these last couple of years," he said. "But I look good, right?"

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