BILLY JOEL: Shares Stories in New York Club “Town Hall”
In a “Town Hall” session, Billy Joel revealed some insights and secrets about his life. With his 65th birthday coming up next month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer chatted with satellite radio host Howard Stern the other day and took questions from the audience at New York’s Cutting Room.
He was also saluted with performances from Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Idina Menzel, Tony Bennett and Boys 2 Men — who performed a mash-up of up of “The Longest Time” with “Just the Way You Are” and announced they’ll guest on one of Joel’s monthly shows at Madison Square Garden.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Joel touched such topics as:
•Religion — While he is Jewish, he attended church services with friends while growing up on Long Island. He was even baptized. But Billy also admitted he doesn’t believe in a heaven or hell.
•Woodstock — He was in the audience at Woodstock and strongly disliked the set by Country Joe and the Fish. The lack of porta-potties led him to leave early — so he missed seeing Jimi Hendrix perform, which remains a disappointment.
•Piano — He called the piano a “percussive” instrument — and showed how he wrote “Angry Young Man” to match the drum solo in the surf-rock classic “Wipe Out.”
•”Piano Man” — He takes it “as a compliment” when piano players break out into “Piano Man.”
•”Leader of the Pack” — At age 16, he played on the demo for The Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack” — but isn’t sure he is on the single.
•A new single — Billy just recorded a Christmas single with Johnny Mathis.
•A supergroup — Once, he tried to form a “supergroup” with Sting, Don Henley and a guitarist. Saying he “liked being in a band,” he might “put together a silly group” someday.