Paul Simon, 74, 'Ready to Give Up Music'

Paul Simon performs "Sounds of Silence" during the 10th anniversary commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center in New York (AFP Photo/Stan Honda) (AFP/File)

New York (AFP) - More than half a century after he wrote “The Sound of Silence,” American singer Paul Simon says he is ready to hang up his guitar and stop making music.

“You’re coming toward the end,” he told The New York Times in an interview published Wednesday. “Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me,” said the 74-year-old. “None.”

The folk star turned world music champion, whose US tour ends Friday, released his most recent album, “Stranger to Stranger” on June 3 to rave reviews.

Its single “Wristband” is one of the most played songs on college radio.

His current tour ends in Queens, the New York borough where he grew up and met his now estranged music partner Art Garfunkel.

He is then scheduled to begin a month-long tour of Europe on October 17 in Prague, shortly after his 75th birthday.

Following that, he told the Times that his intention is to drift and travel for a year, perhaps with his third wife, the musician Edie Brickell.

“It’s an act of courage to let go,” Simon told the newspaper. “I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I?”

If he does quit music, Simon will bring to a close an extraordinary career that has spanned six decades, won him more than a dozen Grammys and produced songs tracking 50 years of social awakenings.

He and Garfunkel were a signature act of the 1960s, starting off with clean-cut folk songs before delving into fusion. The duo produced hits such as “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Mrs Robinson.”

Simon has been named by Time Magazine one of the “100 People Who Shaped the World,” collected more than a dozen Grammys and been named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.

He told the Times that “Wristband,” which was released in April, is a metaphor for today’s struggle between rich and the disenfranchised.

The title refers to a musician who steps into an alley behind a club and finds himself unable to get back in without a wristband.

“It’s just a metaphor for, ‘You can’t get in. You don’t have what’s required,’” Simon said. “That battle is being fought right now, the haves and have-nots.”

The singer also spoke out against fame, saying he saw it “turn into absolute poison” in the 1960s.

“It killed Presley. It killed Lennon. It killed Michael Jackson. I’ve never known anyone to have gotten an enormous amount of fame who wasn’t, at a minimum, confused by it and had a very hard time making decisions.”