Sting and Paul Simon have begun rehearsing for their upcoming tour, which gets under way February 8 in Houston. The former Police frontman revealed some details about the joint trek earlier this week when he appeared via satellite at the Television Critics Association’s annual winter press tour.
Sting — who is a longtime friend and one-time neighbor of Simon — revealed that the outing was the legendary singer/songwriter’s idea.
“He came downstairs one day and said, ‘Would you like to tour with me?’” Sting recalled. “And as I’ve been a friend as well as a huge fan of his for many, many years, I said, ‘Of course.’”
The shows will feature Simon and Sting performing separately with their respective backing bands, and they also will hit the stage together. As for which songs the two stars will sing, Sting says he and Paul are “figuring that out as we go along.”
One tune fans can expect to hear the two artists perform together is the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Bridge over Troubled Water,” which Sting said “is one of my favorites.”
As for how he felt about lending his voice to such an iconic duet, Sting pointed out, “Paul had a long partnership with Art Garfunkel for many, many years, and it’s not my job to impersonate Art. He has one of the most iconic, beautiful voices in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. But my job is to interpret and honor the notes and the lyrics that have been written, and I will be me.”
He added that he asked Simon if they could also sing another Simon & Garfunkel gem, “America,” noting that it was a tune Paul doesn’t perform too often.
Sting also discussed which of his compositions Simon was interested in performing.
“Paul is very keen on songs like [1993's] ‘Fields of Gold,’ which he loves, [and] songs like [1987's] ‘Fragile,’” he said. “I think the gentler side of my repertoire interests him.”
While Sting maintained that “the main thrust” of the concerts will be the many hits he and Paul “have already had,” he said his set also may include a couple of tunes from his latest album, The Last Ship. That record, which was released in September, features songs from an upcoming musical of the same name Sting wrote that will premiere in Chicago in June before heading to Broadway in the fall.
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