Nightly News   |  April 14, 2011

Paul Simon, still playing after all these years

Brian Williams interviews the legendary singer/songwriter about his new album, the changing music business, and the best signals to throw in baseball.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, when you ask paul simon what he's listening to mostly these days, hoods rr likely to answer, major league baseball . he's known to the kids in the town where he lives as coach simon, third base coach of the baseball team . father of four, lives with his wifeedy bricell. he's on tour, all sold out, supporting his new album, his 24th in all, called so beautiful or so what. a few days back, we had a chance to sit down and have a fasz fascinating conversation with coach simon.

>> paul simon is among the most treasured and most important recording artists in american history , and for the record, home is where his heart is. the man most of us strong wlae associate with new york lives a country life to the north in connecticut, and these day said, just south of 70 years of age, he wouldn't have it any other way.

>> i really never thought that i would leave new york , leave new york . the pleasure of the courting and urown space here, i think it has a big affect on the quality of the recording. it's a great luxury.

>> we sat in the same room where he recorded the new album in a small, sparse cottage on his property, and he's done it again. the man who keeps on rewriting our music has found another way to do it with another collection of carefully crafted songs.

>> they come later.

>> we first met him with simon and garfunkel . we've seen the comedic side on "snl" 36 years ago. he's been seen guy millions, heard by billions, a two-time rock and roll hall of fame inductee over a 50-year career.

>> at this point in time, it's getting harder to write.

>> why?

>> well, for one thing, the bar -- the bar has been set pretty high.

>> you set it.

>> well, that's good. that's good. the problem is all inside your head

>> his voice is virtually unchanged and his mellow image fights the fact that he gets agry a lot alt politics and the like but he choses to leave that out of his music.

>> there are subjects i don't want to deal with in a song. i won't write an entire song about politics. i feel like everybody is so divided. when you're down and out when you're on the street

>> and we found he's not wild about dying, either.

>> i'minate crazy about dying.

>> i don't know a big fan .

>> no. not too many. i'm trying to -- i'm trying not to be pitted off about that. but --

>> it worked out. it kind of worked out, didn't it?

>> yeah, it did. i have to give a lot of -- a what of thanks to my wife. if it weren't for edie, i don't think it would be this easy and this kind of life. and as far as the work goes, i'm grateful for that, too. i'm going to make it

>> we were always told that your capacity for thinking sort of diminishes as you get older, but now, you know, i'm 69 years old, and i don't -- i think the opposite. i feel like it's better. so i look forward to seeing what, you know, what more time will reveal .

>> paul simon , who doesn't want to die. for the record, we hope to reinterview him when he's 100 in that very cottage. the new material