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Simon makes 1st public appearance since arrest

May 8, 12:02 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Paul Simon performed a rousing set and accepted an award from New York University in his first public appearance since he and wife Edie Brickell were arrested on disorderly conduct charges.

The 72-year-old performed more than a dozen songs Wednesday night at the Beacon Theatre in New York, where he was honored at the 2014 NYU Steinhardt Vision Award Gala. He played guitar and sang hits such as "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Late In the Evening" and "You Can Call Me Al."

Simon and 48-year-old Brickell became physical with each other during an argument inside a cottage on their New Canaan, Connecticut, property last week. Brickell told police Simon shoved her and she slapped him.

Brickell didn't attend Wednesday's event, which raised $1.1 million for scholarships.

"After my fee of a million is deducted, that's $100,000," Simon said to laughs.

He was energetic and danced onstage, and the crowd stood dancing with him on songs like "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" during the 75-minute set.

Simon was honored for his humanitarian work and accomplished music career, which includes 12 Grammy Awards and two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a solo artist and as part of Simon & Garfunkel, among other accolades.

Performance students and alumni from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development joined him when he sang "Still Crazy After All These Years."

"So, money well spent," Simon said after the performance as the crowd laughed. Tickets were priced at $300 and $200, and only the ground floor of the three-tiered Beacon Theatre was occupied.

NYU has history in Simon's family: His father earned degrees from the university and his son currently attends its Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Simon taught songwriting at the school in the 1970s.

"I cringe to think of how little I knew," he said.

Simon closed his set with "American Tune" and "Graceland."

Simon recently wrapped up a tour with Sting. Brickell and Steve Martin will perform Friday in Eugene, Oregon, on their collaborative tour.

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redbeard126 May 09 2014 at 12:30 AM

Is there no end to American idiocy? Paul Simon has lifted us all so many times, so many ways, for so many years. What a bunch of pathetic snipes we are. Feelin' groovy about Paul Simon. Always will.

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blueeyessing May 08 2014 at 12:46 PM

I thought that was the Clippers owner at first. No shoving and hitting please. Are you both 3 years old?

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Fernandes Neto May 08 2014 at 12:28 PM

Seria uma das oportunidades, raras aliás, para ver e rever Paul Simon.
Os moradores de New York City têm um imperdível compromisso.

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electros May 08 2014 at 12:07 PM

Maybe when Danny Devito gets a little older and has some bad plastic surgery he can play Paul Simon in the soon to be (The Paul Simon Story Trilogy of An A hole A Lister)!

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Lynn Davis May 08 2014 at 11:59 AM

It's nice to know that Paul is actually human. His reputation has been spotless for almost half a century! It's such a shame that a private argument becomes headlines. A shove and a slap. Boom. On the cover of the Daily News. Sad. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

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rimbaud May 08 2014 at 11:49 AM

amazingly talented guy who, tho my preference is earlier on has written some memorable, historic songs. the comments here are so typical for bottom feeders who have no concept what they are talking about or what real talent is.

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2 replies
Karine rimbaud May 08 2014 at 1:01 PM

Spot On !

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bospiritofbo rimbaud May 08 2014 at 2:21 PM

Sorry, man...but you're the one who sounds like a bottom feeder here. Just thought I'd point that out. Look I have loved Simon's music since he came on the scene. This is weird stuff and why can't people have a little fun with it. I mean, really, he's the guy...the man...and he called 911 because his wife slapped him? Sure, he's a great talent, but if you can't see the irony and humor here then tough luck. He's getting ribbed and is the object of some comments because he made the call, man. He's gotta man up and take responsibility. I could care less. I love his music, have always loved his music and will always love his music. He's got some weird stuff going on at home that he decided to make public for some stupid reason. Doesn't affect how I feel about his music. Perhaps I should remind him though that's there's fifty ways to leave your lover....eh? Sorry, could resist...lol...Poor little Paul...

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motoco62 May 08 2014 at 11:40 AM

Hey, old man, go home. Only the old hippies care about you anymore.

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4 replies
cincyburb01 May 08 2014 at 11:00 AM

For years I had assumed that Simon was the homosexual lover to Art Garfunkel. If you look at the cover of Garfunkel's second solo album, "breakaway,' you can clearly see homosexual inclinations. But I never researched deeply to find out either way, and it doesn't matter. Simon was always a great songwriter, and Simon and Garfunkel was a great harmony duo with legendary songs.

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2 replies
elmmaestro cincyburb01 May 08 2014 at 11:08 AM


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kavincsb cincyburb01 May 08 2014 at 12:09 PM

man oh man oh man.....you have GOT to tell me more about your ability to spot " homosexual inclinations" on an album cover......

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1 reply
kenmerger kavincsb May 08 2014 at 1:54 PM

Well, it either sucks or it doesnt!

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dungal1 May 08 2014 at 10:59 AM

The aging process is brutal for most of us. Some days I look in the mirror and wonder what happened. Paul is 10 years older than me, At 72 he's an old man. I'm getting close..

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1 reply
jodi dungal1 May 08 2014 at 11:09 AM

Oh, good grief. An old man at 72? My husband is 74 and not there yet. I am 82 and don't consider myself an old woman. We are older than we were, of course, but "old" seems like an end point.

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gamay9 May 08 2014 at 12:58 PM

I'm also 72 and if I looked as old as Paul does I'd get a facelift. He must have led a life on the edge to look that old. Even turkey-throat McCartney, about to turn 72, looks better.

These people are hogging the news and are rich, so I can comment on their appearance. They don't comment on my handsome face, because, according to them, I don't count because I'm not rich and famous.

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3 replies
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