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Paul Simon Plots Summer Tour to Support E.O. Wilson's Biodiversity Project
The sound of silence proved too much, so Paul Simon has decided to hit the road once more. And this time he’s on a mission to give back.
The Rock And Roll Hall of Famer and his band will kick off a 17-city U.S. jaunt this June, proceeds from which will benefit the Half-Earth Project, an initiative of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. The summer dates begin June 1 at St. Augustine Ampitheatre, FL, and wrap June 28 at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Denver, CO.
Embarking on this tour, Simon says in an interview published by Mongabay, a news site devoted to environmental issues, can generate “millions of dollars” for the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and boost awareness for its good causes.
Simon last year revealed he had wrestled with the thought of retiring. But the idea of actively supporting biodiversity through his music made him feel like “I am making a greater contribution than putting more money in my pocket, which I don’t need, or becoming more famous, which I really don’t need. So I said (late last fall), ok, I’m going to do that,” he explains.
The tour doesn’t currently have a name, though Simon assures his shows will focus on the music. “It’s a concert of music. It’s not a lecture,” he tells Mongabay’s Justin Catanoso. “I don’t want people to come and think they’re going to be lectured to. But I don’t mind having Ed’s book available or having (Half-Earth) caps there.”
Simon’s 13th and most recent solo album, Stranger To Stranger (Concord/EMI/Universal), bowed at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart last June and gave the veteran singer his first topper on Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Americana/Folk Albums chart. The set also started at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, his highest-ever debut and best rank on the survey since Graceland reached the same peak in 1987.
Check his tour dates here.