Billy Joel talks touring, Trump, playing with Pink

Billy Joel maintains that although he averages several shows per month, he's far from a touring act. Billy, who pretty much commutes to all his gigs, will be stepping up his game -- as he has in recent summers-- by playing a handful of North American ballparks in addition to his monthly residency at New York's Madison Square Garden. He explained to The Los Angeles Times, "Touring is when you go out and you stay out. You miss your family; it goes on and on and on and on. Now I play and then I go home. It’s a pussycat schedule. I know what touring is, and this ain’t it."

Billy, whose Florida home is close to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, was pressed as to whether he's ever driven by, to which the "Piano Man" "mimed riding a motorcycle and holding up both middle fingers." Billy went on to say, "He thinks I’m his friend. I went to his wedding. I don’t know why I went. I’m told I sang -- probably made an ass of myself."

  • He shed light on his pre-fame days during his three-year stint living in L.A., and reflected on the 1974 fan favorite, "Los Angelenos," recalling: "I thought about Rod Stewart when I wrote that. That particular time in my life, it was the early ’70s; it was what they now call the singer-songwriter era. And I thought of myself more as a songwriter than a singer. I still don’t like my voice; I’m always trying to sound like somebody else. So I was writing songs thinking about other people doing them. The reason I made an album in the first place was because I thought it would be like a song demo for other people to do."
  • When asked if he often envisions other artists singing his music when writing, he said, "Just about every song. I wrote 'Say Goodbye To Hollywood,' I thought about the Ronettes -- “Be My Baby.” And Ronnie Spector covered it."
  • Billy likened the trappings of celebrity as being "horrifying," and explained what it was like once the pressure was really on upon hooking up with his second wife, Christie Brinkley: "Nobody’s prepared for it -- people looking into your private life, gossip columns writing about you, people saying things that are hurtful about your family. I was like, 'I don’t like this -- I want to become a little more private.' But how do you take it back? You can’t."
  • Although he hasn't written any new rock music since the 1993 release of his River Of Dreams album, he revealed that he and pop icon Pink had gotten together and "thrown around some ideas" -- but wasn't sure what would become of it.
  • Growing up in Hicksville, New York in the 1950’s and ‘60s, Billy Joel was among the only kids in his neighborhood from a broken home. He explained that he grew up experiencing emotions differently than a lot of his friends: [“I realized that looking for happiness all the time is kind of a futile effort. Y’know, happiness is an extreme -- just like sadness is an extreme. I think there’s a great deal to be said for contentment, and I’m a very contented person.”]

  • Billy Joel tour dates (subject to change):
  • May 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Dodger Stadium     
  • May 25 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena   
  • June 6 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena   
  • June 17 - Green Bay, WI - Lambeau Field     
  • July 5 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
  • July 14 - Cleveland, OH - Progressive Field      
  • July 28 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Field   
  • August 11 - Chicago, IL - Wrigley Field
  • August 21 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena  
  • August 30 - Boston, MA - Fenway Park     
  • September 9 - Philadelphia, PA - Citizens Bank Park
  • September 21 - St. Louis, MO - Busch Stadium
  • Septenber 30 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
  • October 20 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
  • November 3 - Indianapolis, IN - Bankers Life Fieldhouse     
  • November 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Vivint Smart Home Arena
  • CHECK IT OUT: Billy Joel on September 17th, 1986 performing "A Matter Of Trust" live on Late Night with David Letterman: