Paul Simon Discusses Hearing Recovery and His Attempt to Stop Sinatra's 'Mrs Robinson' Cover

Published March 15, 2024

Legendary musician Paul Simon has shared an update on his hearing condition, revealing he has experienced a significant loss in his left ear. The 82-year-old artist, known for hits like 'You Can Call Me Al', faced this challenge while working on his latest solo project, Seven Psalms. Initially, doctors were puzzled by the sudden hearing loss, but by September 2023, Simon had started to come to terms with the situation.

As he embraces a new chapter, Simon has become the focus of a fresh two-part documentary titled In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, directed by Alex Gibney. At the New York premiere of the film, moderated by Stephen Colbert, Simon shared good news: his hearing has partially returned, allowing him to continue singing and playing guitar, albeit with some limitations like the volume of drums and electric guitars.

During the documentary premiere's discussion, Simon also recounted an intriguing story about Frank Sinatra's cover of 'Mrs Robinson', a Simon and Garfunkel classic. Despite the song's success, famously linked to the film The Graduate, Simon was not pleased with Sinatra's version, which included altered lyrics. He attempted to block the release, saying 'He can't do that' upon hearing Sinatra's 'ring a ding, ding' style applied to the song. However, after a heartfelt plea from a Warner Brothers representative, Simon relented.

Though initially resistant, Simon grew to appreciate Sinatra's interpretation of 'Mrs Robinson'. The documentary, In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, is set to air on MGM+ with the first part premiering on March 17 and the second part on March 24.

musician, health, documentary