But things could have been a lot worse for Simon if it hadn't been for Steve van Zandt, who is both Bruce Springsteen's guitarist and Silvio Dante on The Sopranos (dude is practically a minor deity in New Jersey). In the late '80s, van Zandt was deeply involved in the international fight against apartheid, even traveling to South Africa to meet with AZAPO. While there, van Zandt was shown the group's assassination list and saw Simon's name at the top. They made it clear that they were really planning to retaliate for Graceland, because Amazon wasn't around back then and they couldn't just leave a bad review.
Van Zandt was not a huge fan of Simon, but he did manage to talk AZAPO out of killing him, arguing that "I understand your feelings about this; I might even share them, but ... it's not going to help anybody if you knock off Paul Simon." The group eventually agreed that such a move would probably be counterproductive in the long run. That's good, but we'd just like to point out how hilarious it is that van Zandt's best argument boiled down to "Listen, we all WANT to murder Paul Simon, but who's that going to help?" Anyway, they ended up killing Art Garfunkel, but the world has yet to notice.