Billy Joel Retiring From Touring?
Despite not having released a new studio record in the last 20 years (1993’s ‘River Of Dreams’ was the last one), Billy Joel has continued performing live all over the world, both solo and with occasional tour mate Elton John. But now it is reported that retirement may be in the cards for Joel on the concert front as well.
During promotion for his show at the Stone Music Festival in Sydney, Australia, Joel said that the show will serve as “a big test” to see if he wants to continue performing live (quote via ABC News Radio). The legendary singer-songwriter says that his decision is based upon not wanting to merely become a caricature of himself.
“I want to see if it’s time for me to get off the stage,” he states. “There’s a time when an athlete says I can’t swing the bat anymore. So I get to feel it out . . . this will be a big test for me.”
He adds, “I don’t want to be that guy; I don’t want to be Spinal Tap.”
“I had to get hip replacements in both hips,” he relates. “And now slowly but surely I’m kinda getting back to normal. I’d say I’m 85 percent. I can walk OK. I can’t run like I used to.”
The entertainer is worried those changes will impair his performing ability. “Honestly, I’m not as good as I used to be,” he continues. “I’m not as athletic as I used to be. I don’t jump off the piano anymore — that didn’t help my hips, either. My voice has changed. It’s lowered.”
Aside from his April 21 performance in Sydney, the only other show on Joel’s schedule for 2013 is an April 27 show at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.