|Single by Paul Simon|
|from the album Stranger to Stranger|
|Released||April 7, 2016|
|Paul Simon singles chronology|
Background and composition
Simon collaborates with the Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap! on "Wristband". Simon was introduced to him in 2015 by his son, Adrian, who was a fan of his work. "Wristband" creates a narrative around a rock musician unable to gain entry into his own concert because he lacks the wristband required. The singer tries to persuade the security guard to let him in, and cannot even gain admittance to the backstage without the right pass. The song eventually transitions into a larger symbol of outrage of underprivileged people "whose anger is a shorthand / For you'll never get a wristband." Peter Ames Carlin writes, "It is an archetypal Paul Simon move: bridging the personal and the social, the silly with the serious, the frivolous and the absolutely essential." "It's not a true story," said Simon. "But I know plenty of people with this story and there have been times where I've been stopped backstage and asked to see a pass."
Release and reception
"Wristband", as the first single from Stranger to Stranger, was released online on April 7, 2016. The song peaked at #14 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart on May 21. Simon performed the song on Austin City Limits in September, which National Public Radio praised as a "playfully infectious version of the song." Stereogum called the song "a rhythmic groove that finds Simon spinning a tale of getting locked out of a venue while taking a smoke break into a meditation on the perpetuation of social inequality."
- Andy Greene (April 7, 2016). "Inside Paul Simon's Genre-Bending New Album Stranger to Stranger". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- Carlin 2016, p. 371.
- "Digital Sheet Music – Paul Simon – Wristband". Musicnotes.com. Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- Colin Stutz (April 7, 2016). "Paul Simon Announces New Album 'Stranger to Stranger;' Hear First Single, 'Wristband'". Billboard. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- "Paul Simon Wristband Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- Hilton, Robin (September 29, 2016). "Watch Paul Simon's Ageless And Animated Performance Of 'Wristband'". National Public Radio. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- Helman, Peter. "Paul Simon – "Wristband"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- Carlin, Peter Ames (2016). Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon. Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-1-627-79034-5.