In a recent interview with Howard Stern, BILLY JOEL opens up and reveals some little known facts about himself. For three hours, Stern presided over a lively interview with the media-shy Joel, punctuated with performances by some admirers - Pink, Melissa Etheridge and Tony Bennett, to name a few - and questions from celebrity fans Matt Lauer and Rachael Ray. During their chat, Joel revealed the stories behind some of his best known songs, joked about the different paths his career could have taken, and let it be known that he has absolutely no plans of making another album. Revealed... in BILLY JOEL's own words !
1 - He went to Woodstock:
"I was 20, I wanted to see Hendrix, but I only stayed for about a day and a half. I think you had to do acid (LSD) to stay there for three days".
2 - He tried heroin:
"This was back in the late Seventies, I think. We were in Amsterdam, and there was all this stuff going on, so I said "Let me see what this is like," he told Stern. "It go me so high I didn't know how to deal with it". You just get way out, just go to another place. You start drooling, and you get sick".
3 - He has come to "embrace" his baldness:
"It sucks. I started losing my hair when I was in my 50's. My dad was completely bald, and I said "Oh no, please, I'm in rock and roll, I need my hair," he joked. "I always had crappy hair anyway, and I used to torture it with a hairdryer and all this stuff, and it left me... I won't [wear a toupee]. I saw too many bad rugs in my life; if you're gonna go bald, embrace it".
4 - He is in awe of Tony Bennett:
The eternally cool crooner was a surpise guest, turning up to perform "New York State of Mind". And if you thought the fans in attendance were amazed, well you,should've seen Joel, who sat there starry eyed. It was the rare moment when he was actually rendered speechless.
5 - He wrote songs that inspired... and then some:
Pink got emotional while talking about listening to Joel's songs with her father and walking down the aisle (her wedding) to "Always a Woman". Melissa Etheridge proudly proclaimed that she always wanted to cover "Only The Good Die Young".
6 - He does impressions:
Lots of them, including a pretty decent Elton John (Joel sang a few lines of "Your Song") a solid Frank Sinatra, and a passable Johnny Cash. His best, however, was a raspy take on Rod Stewart while singing... "Los Angelenos", a song he said he wrote for Rod Stewart, even if Rod "probably wasn't aware" he had done so.
7 - He's not writing new songs:
"I won't say 'I never', or 'I won't [write new songs]' I just don't", Joel sighed. "Everybody has a hard time understanding that: 'Why don't you write new songs' ? " Well, you have to want to write new songs".
8 - He's got plenty of jokes:
"This is a throat spray, it's called 'The Entertainer's Secret', and it keeps your vocal chords moist", he explains to Stern. "I used to make a joke about seeing Madonna use it, but I changed it to, I saw Ted Nugent use it once, but it didn't really make him sound any better, because he probably wasn't spraying it up his ass".
9 - He is very particular:
"There's an error in the original sheet music of ['Just The Way You Are'], Joel said. "So people always play two chords in one spot. It's wrong, it's a suspension. So I gotta go over and correct the guy, every time I go into a place. I go over, and I go 'wrong' " !