"The stage is a living-room set: couch, TV, coffee table, food."
July 24, 2018 8:41 AM   Subscribe

 
The crowd after a couple minutes goes, “Fuck this,” and starts throwing shit at the glass.

We got both kinds of rock: pop, and yacht.
posted by thelonius at 8:47 AM on July 24 [6 favorites]


Billy Joel has always been a guy who does everything a rock star does (good and bad, musical and otherwise), but never gets any credit for being a rock star (also good or bad, musical or otherwise). It's downright weird.
posted by Etrigan at 8:51 AM on July 24 [16 favorites]


Say goodbye to Hollywood.
posted by infini at 8:54 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


He didn’t light it, but at least he seems to be making an effort in trying to fight it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:55 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


@Etrigan -

So, so, so true. Spot on statement, and I'll never quite understand it. And yes, I'm an unabashed Billy Joel fan.
posted by tgrundke at 9:09 AM on July 24


Billy Joel never grew, and didn't want to. There was an interview where he said that explicitly -- where someone like Paul Simon went into African/Brazilian/Puerto Rican music, he was just staying in his lane, and at best, going nostalgic. In the same interview, he compared himself to Elton John that way, so it wasn't surprising when the two of them toured together.

IMO, he also didn't get enough props for Kontsert. Groundbreaking for its time.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:10 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


I haven't really changed my mind on Joel's work, but he seems like an innocent man who's keeping the faith and I'm wholly on board with his opinions on the shameless big shot who's threatening this No Man's Land.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:14 AM on July 24 [8 favorites]


I have the greatest job in the world. You get up there, you make a lot of noise, girls scream, and you get shitloads of money. Are you fucking kidding me?

Just a highlight. This is a really fun interview, and I really do, unironically, love Billy Joel and his music. I read, I don't remember where, that he clears -- that is, after he pays for the venue and the band and the production and his helicopter -- $1m for each show at the Garden. Which is just mind-blowing, but if you're at a point where you can do that, and you don't have further aspirations, why the hell would you do anything else?
posted by uncleozzy at 9:15 AM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Billy Joel has always been a guy who does everything a rock star does (good and bad, musical and otherwise), but never gets any credit for being a rock star (also good or bad, musical or otherwise). It's downright weird.

I don't know. I saw him on The Stranger tour, right up front, big teenage fan of his first few records ... and that show lacked something. It just didn't rock. Unsophisticated me didn't really have words for it at the time but it was the end of my fandom. Looking back on it now, I'd attribute it to two key factors.

1. his attitude was smug to a fault, like he didn't really want to be there, which may have been honest, but I'd never encountered that before from an rock star. And compared to the apocalyptically grand performance that Bruce Springsteen would deliver in the same venue less than a year later -- well, it's incomparable. Joel was a piano bar guy who'd fluked it into the big time, and like I say, he was smug about it.

2. relevant to #1 -- his song choice sucked that night. So many personal faves just didn't get played. One thing I've noticed with genuinely strong live acts is that they either a. deliver the goods in terms of knowing what material works best live, or b. they're just so good that you don't notice what they're not doing.

All that said, I still have a fondness for some of his early stuff. The Piano Man album in particular. Stop in Nevada is a much overlooked gem. And Captain Jack -- well that's as true as it ever was.
posted by philip-random at 9:33 AM on July 24 [6 favorites]


I really only dig about maybe a third of Joel's oeuvre, but "Captain Jack" is one of my all-time favorites. It was definitely the story of my life at a certain period.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:45 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


If you can find it, watch his episode of Inside The Actors' Studio (I just tried looking for the link but could only find clips of it, not the whole thing). Dude is smart. Maybe not quite tutored or polished, but definitely smart.

In a weird way, he reminds me of my father. Dad was not a very diligent student - he liked to skip school and he was one of the greaser kids (I joked to my brother that "Dad was basically Ponyboy" once). But if you get into a conversation with him, he asks really thoughtful, insightful questions. And he is almost guaranteed to get into a conversation with you, because that's how he learns - by asking people questions about who they are, how they roll, what they think. Dad didn't come from a background that necessarily prioritized studiousness - Grandpa was a WW2 veteran, a plumber, and raised coonhounds, and my father was the only child of his second marriage, so they were a little caught up in other stuff. But if he'd been born into a different circumstance I can absolutely see him having gone to MIT or something (or, actually, knowing Dad's propensity for cooking, he may have gone into Cordon Bleu).

I kind of see Billy Joel the same way - he didn't have the formal training he could have gotten if he'd been in a better position economically or socially or what have you, but he had enough natural talent and curiosity and instinct that that alone took him someplace impressive.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on July 24 [13 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, your dad's story reads like the lyrical summation of a forgotten verse from "Piano Man".
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:57 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Vulture, like they do, also had someone rank all 121 Billy Joel songs.

'Only the Good Die Young' is way too high, 'A Matter of Trust' is way too low.
posted by box at 10:01 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Actually, being able to afford a good accountant is also a great luxury. I learned that the hard way.

Hoh.

Great interview with a man who just has the sensibility to know he could be a little bit better and much poorer and hasn't let it bother him all the time (since, I dunno 1985) because he's just smart enough to know he can't change it.
posted by hawthorne at 10:13 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]




Jesus, thinking back to when I first heard Captain Jack and going, Damn, Billy did you have to nail my late adolescent life like that (to echo octobersurprise)? Kind of started my whole love-hate thing with Billy Joel, which endures to this day.
posted by e1c at 10:30 AM on July 24


I think the problem with Joel isn't that he's *smug*, exactly. Rather, you can see it in that interview - he repeatedly says this bad review or that criticism doesn't bother him, but you can tell that's just an affect. He's like The Brain (of Pinky and the...): he should be ruling the world, or he knows what's good and what's not. It's not "smug", it's "sneering". Smug is comfortable. He's still angry that his genius isn't properly recognized.

Honestly, it reminds me of incels.
posted by notsnot at 10:34 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


You know what couplet's the iron curtain between Billy Joel and great art?

Workin' too hard can give you
A heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack

posted by chavenet at 10:35 AM on July 24 [4 favorites]


You know what couplet's the iron curtain between Billy Joel and great art?

Workin' too hard can give you
A heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack
posted by chavenet


As a counterpoint, though, when a real asskicker band takes that song out for a spin, magic happens, as the 4 on the Floor teach us.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:42 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


There is a Billy Joel tribute band named Heart Attack Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack
posted by thelonius at 10:49 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


"Billy Joel has always been a guy who does everything a rock star does (good and bad, musical and otherwise), but never gets any credit for being a rock star (also good or bad, musical or otherwise)"

He was born at the wrong time. Had he first achieved fame in the 40s or 50s, he would have been huge. Like, weekly variety show on NBC huge. And it would have been incredible. To me, even though he always talks about the Beatles and rock and roll, that's what he's always tried to be. And so much of the criticism directed his way is because the critics are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That's probably why it still stings him so much.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:50 AM on July 24 [5 favorites]


My most favoritest Billy Joel YT link of all time. OF ALL TIME!

Notable at 1:22 in when Billy's lesser known identical twin Bobby Joel, from the cult band "The Pageturners," appears from the shadows for a brief cameo.
posted by Rumple at 10:55 AM on July 24


There is a Billy Joel tribute band named Heart Attack Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack

Because I live on Long Island, I can see a Billy Joel tribute band that includes actual members of Billy Joel's current and former touring band.

They are very good.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:11 AM on July 24 [9 favorites]


As a counterpoint, though, when a real asskicker band takes that song out for a spin, magic happens, as the 4 on the Floor teach us

which drives home the point I forgot to make in my earlier comment. The man writes great f***ing songs -- the performer just gets in the way too often, for me anyway.
posted by philip-random at 11:18 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I'm a big Billy Joel fan and this was a nice interview. He seems to have accepted some things that he used to freak out at the mention of. Or he's gotten better at acting like he has. I'm glad he's still successful - the many times I've seen him (between about 1982 and a few years ago) he worked very hard and put on a great show. I used to be a rigger and truss spot op for arena shows and I've seen way too many shows. So many of them just phoned it in. Billy and the band are obviously going through the motions somewhat (you'd have to after that many shows) but they're playing well and trying to put on a good show. I've seen a lot of bands whose music I didn't like but the shows were fantastic, and vice versa.

This might be the first thread on MeFi where Billy Joel was discussed that wasn't a stream of LOLBILLYJOEL. Criticism I don't mind. There's plenty to criticize about him or his music, but for a while I just stayed out of these threads because it was a bunch of noise. So hey, thanks for that.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:37 AM on July 24 [8 favorites]


He was born at the wrong time. Had he first achieved fame in the 40s or 50s, he would have been huge.

It's very easy to imagine this being true. Joel's always had a very pre-rock-and-roll sensibility and 20 or 30 years earlier he might've become a figure of Mitch Miller/Ed Sullivan proportions. I think some of his early successes are due partly to his arrival in a period of rock and roll exhaustion and his decline due partly to never fitting easily into the punk/New Wave/MTV period that followed. But I was struck by his belief that he just lost his ability to write songs. Which is sad for many reasons—among them being that he finds himself in a moment that should be his. Donald Trump could be a figure out of a Billy Joel song and it makes me wonder what he'd be writing now if he was at the top of his form.

As a counterpoint, though, when a real asskicker band takes that song out for a spin ...

Yeah, that's pretty great!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:45 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Towards the end of the piece it references this Chuck Klosterman work which likely had an outsided role in defining Billy Joel for a generation of folks.
posted by zenon at 11:48 AM on July 24


That Vulture link leaves out EVERYTHING from Billy's best album, therefore it is WRONG.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 11:56 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Clearly, Billy Joel has amazing musical genetics when your father was a classical pianist and your half-brother is a classical conductor in Europe. Billy aspires to be as good as Beethoven by his own admission and had weekly piano lessons in the neighborhood. I wonder about Alexander Joel, the conductor, and his musical education.
posted by narancia at 11:59 AM on July 24


uncleozzy: Because I live on Long Island, I can see a Billy Joel tribute band that includes actual members of Billy Joel's current and former touring band.

They are very good.


Those guys are at Mulcahy’s at least once a month. Great fun if you can’t catch Billy and company at MSG.

For me, the Billy Joel gold standard will always be the ‘77 CW Post show broadcast on WLIR that you can find on the torrents.
posted by dr_dank at 12:00 PM on July 24


I can see a Billy Joel tribute band that includes actual members of Billy Joel's current and former touring band.

According to the movie Hired Gun, Billy Joel was total dick to those former members. I can't believe they play his songs; it's like the musical version of Stockholm Syndrome - or you just continue to do the only job you've ever known.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:05 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Hey, that was a great interview - thanks for posting it, mandolin conspiracy!

It's possible that the best part is the footnotes, which make it clear that the interviewer, David Marchese, is a real fan. I was amazed to learn this:

"As has been pointed out, Joel wrote 33 Top 40 hits. That’s more than a quarter of all the songs he recorded, which is a pretty mind-boggling batting average."

That's ... really impressive.
posted by kristi at 12:07 PM on July 24 [10 favorites]


I'm actually really curious about the life-ruining story Billy won't tell about Liberty DeVitto.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:10 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


From age 14 through college I needed him. After that, he became part of my vocabulary. Now, its been ages since I sat down and listened to him, but I bet if a song came on I'd be able to sing along without missing a beat.
posted by infini at 12:21 PM on July 24 [6 favorites]


I don't know the deep cuts, but, when I was a kid, I once spent most of a summer at a distant relative's lake house, and they had three CDs--Billy Joel's Greatest Hits volumes 1 and 2, and the soundtrack to 'Back to the Future.'

I am very familiar with Billy Joel's greatest hits.
posted by box at 12:37 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


As a 70s kid, I am oh, so familiar with Joel's music. I really didn't give him much credit until I saw him in concert two years ago. He's a damn good songwriter. I enjoyed the hell out of that show.
posted by corvikate at 12:40 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I saw Billy's show last October at the Garden, first time since the Innocent Man tour, also at the Garden. It was a blast. He ran through his albums, gave us a choice between two songs from each one, and played whichever one we yelled loudest for. I found that to be a lot of fun. Also the Yankees were in the playoffs and he gave us live scores, until they started losing. He was engaged and seemed to be enjoying himself and I'm thinking about doing it again some time, before he calls it quits. So many of the people I loved to listen to are in their 70s now. I'm going to miss them when they're gone.
posted by ceejaytee at 12:45 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


I'm actually really curious about the life-ruining story Billy won't tell about Liberty DeVitto.

i'm really curious about the way he put it - he could have said, "well, i just don't think it's right of me to get into that" or "let's just say there were issues" but, no, it's going to ruin the guy's life if i say it

really? is it because what you have to say is so important, billy? is it because he's such an awful nasty person - or you would rather hint that he's an awful, nasty person without having to actually give the details?

he doesn't like his job - "piano man" - he doesn't like his schoolmates - "captain jack" - he doesn't like the times - "we didn't light the fire" - he doesn't like long island - "movin' out" - and he wants you to know about it

(he's also written some pretty great long songs, so ...)

there's just always been something off about him - like he did something like rock and roll because that's where the money was, but he'd have been happier hanging out with the rat pack and slipping them songs - and he had the talent, he just wasn't born at the right time

he was always best when he was trying for the great american songbook - the rockish stuff mostly annoyed me
posted by pyramid termite at 12:48 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I discovered recently that without asking iTunes decided to delete all my Billy Joel albums, so now I have to dig out the CDs again. So... I still listen to Billy Joel, but sometimes not for a while.

And look, it’s one thing if you own your recordings. I don’t. There was supposed to be a reversal of copyrightThanks to a revision of copyright law that occurred in the late 1970s, musicians were granted “termination rights” that allowed them to regain control of their work after 35 years. Given the lucrative nature of an artist like Joel’s catalogue, it certainly makes sense that a record company would fight hard to maintain its control. back to me in 2013. Well, the record company dug in and got their battery of lawyers and we never got the stuff back. So I still don’t own my recordings.

Same thing happened to Suzanne Vega. She lost control of her recordings, but then realized that nothing prevented her from re-recording her songs fresh, so she did, as the Close Up series arranged by theme.
posted by lagomorphius at 12:55 PM on July 24


Those guys are at Mulcahy’s at least once a month

I was just talking about Mulcahy's the other day, and I realized I'd only been there twice, once to see Big Shot. Can't remember what the other time was; probably better that way.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:01 PM on July 24


box: "I am very familiar with Billy Joel's greatest hits."

That's the Power of Love
posted by chavenet at 2:03 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I believe I may have seen OMC at Mulcahy's in 1998 or so.

anywhoo - can we talk about River of Dreams and how Billy is obviously delusional about it?
posted by JPD at 2:09 PM on July 24


Sure, I'll take a stab at it. I'm only vaguely aware of that song about sleepwalking, but, having just skimmed its Wikipedia page, here are three facts that suggest Billy Joel is delusional about River of Dreams:

The personnel credits list forty-three singers and musicians.

The album cover, a painting by Christie Brinkley, depicts a shirtless Joel wearing an anchor pendant.

There's a Color Me Badd feature.
posted by box at 2:30 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


Billy Joel has always been a guy who does everything a rock star does (good and bad, musical and otherwise), but never gets any credit for being a rock star (also good or bad, musical or otherwise). It's downright weird.

He SHOULD be a pariah over the whole Doug Stegmeyer thing. Doug was his FRIEND, and when Billy's FRIEND told him honesty that the drugs were a problem.... Billy fired him. Doug eventually committed suicide.

But that betrayal is another thing he's not held to account for.
posted by mikelieman at 3:05 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


The other singles from River of Dreams include:

All About Soul (professional video)
No Man's Land (fan-made video)
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) (professional video)

'Lullabye' is pretty good (both Billy and the YT comments are so sincere). The other two are... less good.
posted by box at 3:20 PM on July 24


My first memory of Billy Joel was being assigned "We Didn't Start the Fire" in middle school social studies class. We each had to take a line or two and give a presentation on the contents.

I wonder what a 2018 version would sound like.
posted by tryniti at 3:23 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I still like "Angry Young Man."
posted by Chrysostom at 3:24 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I wonder what a 2018 version would sound like.

something like this
posted by pyramid termite at 3:38 PM on July 24


As a very young child, I asked my parents to let me learn how to play the piano because I loved Billy Joel's music so much, and I still do. Throughout childhood and my teen years I bought up as much of his piano sheet music as I could find and now have the sheets for all of his albums and a few of the strange on-off singles. It's just fun to play. There's something about the rhythmic structure of his work that forces a smile once you get into its groove.
posted by Servo5678 at 3:51 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


That Vulture link leaves out EVERYTHING from Billy's best album

That is awful. I first thought it was a take from the improv jazz scene in Spinal Tap.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:58 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


My first memory of Billy Joel was being assigned "We Didn't Start the Fire" in middle school social studies class. We each had to take a line or two and give a presentation on the contents. [...] I wonder what a 2018 version would sound like.

I always wondered why he wrote that song. I mean, nobody accused him of being responsible for late-20th-century history, but he felt the need to deny culpability anyway. What was he trying to hide?

Anyway, that was 1989. We don't know if he's been at fault for any world events since them. I think what Billy Joel needs to do is release regular version upgrades. Like, did he cause the Iraq War? The financial crisis? Global warming? Put it in the song.

It's the only way to be sure.
posted by panama joe at 4:48 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


when Billy's FRIEND told him honesty that the drugs were a problem

did he have a drug problem as well as booze? I guess it'd be hard to avoid blow, if you were an alcoholic in the music business in the 80s
posted by thelonius at 4:51 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


I always wondered why he wrote that song.

My favorite part of that video has always been the child at the end in the sort of futuristic cheetah outfit. Definite style icon.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:12 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


his attitude was smug to a fault, like he didn't really want to be there, which may have been honest, but I'd never encountered that before from an rock star.

That's exactly why Billy Joel does not, and has never, rocked.

Also, from TFA, "I never felt like I was as good as I wanted to be. My bar was Beethoven. [Laughs.] I remember reading a quote from Neil Diamond where he said that he’d forgiven himself for not being Beethoven. I read that and went, 'That’s my problem: I haven’t.'"

Sorry, ripping off Pathétique Sonata does not count as trying for the bar at Beethoven's height.

This might be the first thread on MeFi where Billy Joel was discussed that wasn't a stream of LOLBILLYJOEL.

Well, we can't break with tradition, can we?

"Weird" Al Yankovic (who has always put on a great live show): It's Still Billy Joel to Me
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:39 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


That Vulture link leaves out EVERYTHING from Billy's best album, therefore it is WRONG.

Ok, I know it's just a cover of a Leonard Cohen song, but it's also missing Light As The Breeze from the Third "Greatest Hits" album, which makes the list even MORE WRONG.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:16 PM on July 24


Sorry, ripping off Pathétique Sonata does not count as trying for the bar at Beethoven's height.

Yeah, and Leningrad is lifted from Tchaikovsky and there are other small examples throughout his music. He plays Beethoven snippets as intros to some of his songs in concert.

I still like him. He does credit L.V. Beethoven as a writer on This Night, so there's that. I also wanted to be Beethoven and the best paying gig I ever got was blasting fanfares for drunk Renaissance Faire patrons. And you're damn right we lifted about every 10th fanfare from one of the greats.

One big thing all of the criticism can't take away is that Billy Joel is the only concert that I can go to with my wife, kids, both parents (mom's more ABBA and dad's more Who, they meet in the middle at Joel), grandma, brother, sister, and friends where we all have a great time. That's worth something to me because we're all musicians of some sort and it's really great to have something to all enjoy together.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:42 PM on July 24 [7 favorites]


Reminder to anyone who has a passing like for Billy Joel, and decides to sing Piano Man at karaoke; All karaoke recordings of it, much like American Pie , are approximately 23 hours long. Just be aware of what you're getting into!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 6:58 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Captain Jack also runs about as long as a Lord of the Rings movie, which is an awful lot to wade through just so you can drunkenly shout “masturbate” into a microphone.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:16 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


I went to see him when he was on tour for Storm Front I think. He put on a really good show from where I was sitting; played the new stuff and the old favourites, and graciously acknowledged the younger singer on stage who would hit the higher notes of his songs that he could no longer reach.

He was playing in the local NHL arena, and at one point, danced into the crowd along the section of boards that were still set up (to keep the floor seating fenced off from the rest of the crowd); during one pause in the show he sat at the piano and dig a ragtime riff on Alberta Bound, acknowledging where he was in a way that delighted everyone, and for his final encore he came out alone to do Piano Man and after the first verse, pointed his microphone at the crowd so we could hear ourselves sing the chorus.

I was a fan, and while his music has kinda paled for me over the years, I think back on how enjoyable that evening was; it felt like he worked hard to please and engage the crowd. I compare that to when I went to see Peter Gabriel, which was superior in terms of music and performance, and I left feeling like I had seen a master craftsman at work, but not the sense of connection I had at Billy's show.

I guess what I'm saying, in a long roundabout way, is I would go to Billy's farewell tour and throw things at the glass.
posted by nubs at 7:45 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Billy Joel Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2 (of course released as a single release and in various different versions on different formats because the record company says fuck the consumer) is such a defining collection of songs. It's like the Barry Manilow Greatest Hits double album release, in that if you're of a certain age, you know literally EVERY song across the entire list. The depth and breadth of his career is pretty astonishing, really.
posted by hippybear at 7:46 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


octobersurprise: "I haven't really changed my mind on Joel's work, but he seems like an innocent man who's keeping the faith and I'm wholly on board with his opinions on the shameless big shot who's threatening this No Man's Land."

You know, October Surprise, I don't know. You may be right, it could be just the way you are, but for the longest time -- all my life, I daresay -- he's struck me as not really a rock star, but more of a piano man who's all about soul. You could call him the stranger to the rock scene. I think at his age, he realizes this is the time -- he's not afraid to go to extremes. Haters might tell him to say goodbye to Hollywood, but when I hear him playing that baby grand, it's still rock and roll to me.
posted by WCityMike at 8:52 PM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was in college at the dawn of the CD era, and *everyone* had a copy of that Greatest Hits 1 & 2.

Also the Forrest Gump soundtrack.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:54 PM on July 24


tryniti: "I wonder what a 2018 version would sound like."

Many have given that a try.
posted by WCityMike at 9:02 PM on July 24


I unashamedly love Billy Joel. From We Didn't Start The Fire to She's Got A Way to Uptown Girl to Downtown Alexa to Matter Of Trust. It's all good.
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:09 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Don't go changing, to try and please me, don't change the colour of your hair...

....is such a lonely word, and mostly what I need from youoooo....


/He set the formative structures of what a love relationship should be like for me when I was younger than today
posted by infini at 3:21 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Just to pop back in here. There was a Billy Joel post on The Keyboard Corner yesterday with more recent Billy Joel links, including the 121-song breakdown on Vulture that I missed the first time around. #1 was kind of a surprise. It all depends upon your appetite.
posted by lagomorphius at 8:52 AM on July 27




infini: “He set the formative structures of what a love relationship should be like for me when I was younger than today”
Friendships too.
James
we were always friends,
From our childhood days
And we made our plans,
And we had to go our separate ways.
I went on the road-
You pursued an education.
Q&A: Who Inspired The Song "James"?
posted by ob1quixote at 9:27 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


Don't forget: Billy Joel, Antifascist.

Billy Joel Doesn't Know Why More People Aren't Cracking Nazi Skulls

""Those creeps are going to march through the streets of my country?" he asked David Marchese. "Uh-uh." "

I would follow Billy Joel into battle.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:56 AM on July 30


Very late to the thread, so probably talking to myself. Just as well, given what I'm about to say re Joel.

I can't say I thought about him much at all prior to the interview I'm about to reference—it wasn't my kind of music, but I didn't actively dislike him/his music. Then, sometime in 1980, he likened himself to Springsteen in an interview, the details of which I've since forgotten. I learned of this heresy when I showed up for my shift at the local record store, which was owned and staffed primarily by folks who had been loyal Bruce fans long before he made the covers of both Time and Newsweek in Oct, 1975.

In response, the "Joel, Billy" divider in the record bins was removed and destroyed. Thereafter, his albums were simply filed under "J".
posted by she's not there at 8:06 PM on August 4


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