Paul Simon regrets his decision to have his current tour sponsored by American Express Gold Card, after receiving criticism that it was elitist. The Gold Card carries a $75 annual fee and is issued only to approved applicants older than 18 with a minimum annual salary of $20,000.
Critics say the sponsorship doesn't fit Simon's image as a socially conscious singer-songwriter.
In an interview, Simon called corporate sponsorship for his tour, which employs 17 musicians, "an economic fact of life."
He said he chose American Express because "it seemed like a kind of institutional, benign sponsorship as opposed to a beer or a cigarette or even a soft drink."
He said he didn't understand that it was a Gold Card sponsorship, "and it's absolutely my fault; I wasn't paying attention."
"If people think that I chose to do an elitist thing, I'm sorry. That's not really what I would have chosen. If I made a mistake, I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do about it now."