If McCartney is not available, get Paul Simon!

Paul Simon to Get Kennedy Center Honor in December
Singer-songwriter Paul Simon will get a Kennedy Center Honor award in December, taking the place of former Beatle Paul McCartney, who opted out of this year’s ceremony, a spokeswoman for the center said on Monday.
McCartney was to be feted Dec. 8, along with actor James Earl Jones, conductor James Levine, dancer-actress Chita Rivera and actress Elizabeth Taylor.
However, Kennedy Center spokeswoman Tiki Davies said McCartney will receive the award next year. She said she did not know the reason for the switch.
Simon, who had been listed for a future award, will instead get the prize in 2002, Davies said by telephone.
Davies passed along a statement from Simon’s spokesman Dan Klores: “Paul Simon is honored and looks forward to a wonderful weekend. He feels as if he is blessed.”
The Kennedy Center Honors Gala is a staple of Washington’s winter social season. This year honorees will start the evening with dinner at the White House before the gala performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Afterward, there will be a supper dance in the center’s Grand Foyer.
Simon and the other honorees will get their awards the evening before the gala, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Kennedy Center statement said.
Simon first came to prominence in the 1960s as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel with such songs as “The Sound of Silence,” “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” (known popularly as “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”) and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” In 1986 Simon released his biggest-selling solo album, “Graceland” with Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
In March 2001 Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.