Monday, February 27, 2006

Piano Man Sings On - Foxlife: Billy Joel Pays for His Car Insurance: "The songs tell stories that reflect a commonality of the audience; everyone can identify with them. Listening to the sagas of Brenda and Eddie from Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, the narrator from the terrific gospel-like River of Dreams, or Mr. Cacciatore down on Sullivan Street in Moving Out for the umpteenth time, you come to realize this era is completely over.

No one is writing music like this anymore, and there is very little to identify with for the pop audience. That's why 15,000 people are filling the Garden for every night of Billy Joel's record-setting run, many of them standing in the audience and belting out the songs with no inhibitions, arms outstretched, like they were in their favorite bar or the chorus of a Broadway show. He's their friend, and they can't get enough of him."

Back in my younger days, I had the opportunity of seeing Billy Joel on a few occasions, including at The Garden and The Coliseum. Back then... mid 1980's or so... he was able to deliver his pop with some excellent rock and roll thrown in for good measure (who can forget hearing Captain Jack, live?).

As the article describes, Joel has always been a good guy (his drunk driving notwithstanding): he's never been mean to anyone, but has had more than his share of crap from others. It must be rewarding to see a 'sell out' on your 7th night in the Garden. Sure, no one seems interested in any new songs (if, indeed, he is writing anymore), but if you're still packing them in more than 30 years later, you have to be doing something right.

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