Exclusive: Paul Simon Planning 'Graceland' Tour, Box Set
A 25th anniversary tour to celebrate Paul Simon's landmark "Graceland" album next year is in the early planning stages. The tour would coincide with a "Graceland" box set that Sony Legacy will release in the late spring, most likely in May.
Simon told Billboard.com he intends to reunite musicians who toured with him in 1987, among them the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
In July, Simon returned to South Africa with his band and performed with trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Ladysmith Black Mambazo for a crowd of 300 people. Director Joe Berlinger, whose credits include documentaries on the West Memphis Three and Metallica, shot the performance for a film that will be included in a 25th anniversary box set. Berlinger's film is also expected to be submitted to film festivals.
"The documentary," Simon said, "took me back to the artistic aspects and the political aspects of making Graceland and the controversy that surrounded it and how it was resolved, plus what remains of it and what we learn from it."
Simon, who toured the U.S. and Europe in the spring and summer after the release of "So Beautiful or So What," returns to performing Oct. 17 in Phoenix, Ariz. The tour wraps Nov. 26 in Atlantic City, N.J.
In 1987, Simon received the album of the year Grammy for "Graceland." Simon and his entourage toured the world from early February through early July, returning to Europe in the summer of 1989 performing music inspired by South African township jive, zydeco and Mexican conjunto.
While "Graceland" was originally issued on Warner Bros., earlier this year Simon licensed his catalog to Sony Music, bringing together all of his solo and Simon & Garfunkel work under one roof, with the exception of "So Beautiful or So What," which is on Hear Music/Concord. Sony Legacy re-released his first four solo albums in June.
CAA, Simon's booking agent, would not comment on the tour.