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Paul Simon makes surprise appearance at Long Island fundraiser

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon made a surprise appearance at a Long Island fundraiser Saturday night, singing four songs from his storied career, Newsday reported.

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Simon, 76, lives in Montauk, New York, several miles west of a fundraiser for the Montauk Point Lighthouse. The 12-time Grammy Award winner joined a local band, The Montauk Project, opening his set with “Late in the Evening.” He followed up with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “You Can Call Me Al,” Newsday reported.

Simon’s appearance was not announced before the event, but rumors that Simon might appear spiked ticket sales, the newspaper reported. Five hundred tickets were sold 24 hours before the event, lighthouse keeper and Montauk Historical Society board member Joe Gaviola told Newsday. Fundraising organizers said they admitted 3,000 people to the show, and many purchased their tickets at the gate.

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“He drew all of that in a day,” Gaviola told Newsday. He added that that the historical society, which owns the lighthouse, purposely did not make the announcement sooner. “Paul wanted this to be a low-key event and to keep it local.”

The Montauk Point Lighthouse, located on the eastern tip of Long Island, was built in 1796 and is a National Historic Landmark. It relies on visitor admission sales and fundraisers to maintain the site.

Simon has appeared in fundraisers near his home before, most notably at the Back at the Ranch fundraiser series in the 1990s

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