Billy Joel Has Patched Things Up With Elton John
"We made up a long time ago," he told Entertainment Weekly. "We sat down and I was like, 'Don’t throw your friends under the bus.'"
Back in 2011, a year after their last tour together, John told Rolling Stone, "At the end of the day, he's coasting" and complained about how Joel's drinking problems at the time resulted in canceled shows. But now Joel accepts it as part of John's nature.
"He does that with everybody," Joel continued. "He runs off at the mouth and regrets it later [...] We’d have these friendly go-rounds where he’d say, 'Why don’t you put out more albums?' And I’d say, 'Why don’t you put out less?' I’d tie his shoes on stage while he’s playing the piano -- just to try and f--- him up."
Earlier this month, Joel broke John's record for most solo performances at Madison Square Garden. Joel marked the occasion by performing "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." "That was really an homage," he said. "He’s, like, the guy before me! He was the piano player before I was a Piano Man. I felt humbled by it -- to play 65 times and beat his record. I thought, 'I’d like to tip my hat to the man.'"
Still, Joel acknowledged that one of his biggest hits has become a bit of an albatross around his neck. "Honestly, I’m a little sick of ["Piano Man"]," he said. However, he's figured out a way around it. "But the audience sings it now and it’s their turn to shine. They’re singing about Davy in the Navy… There’s been a skepticism about the characters. John the bartender who wanted to be a movie star, Paul the real estate guy who was writing the Great American Novel, the waitress practicing politics -- that ended up being my wife! I didn’t make this s--- up! They’re all based on real characters. And the song still resonates."
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