Although there are currently no plans for Billy Joel to turn his life into a big-screen biopic, he admits — it could feasibly work. During a chat with Billboard in the cover story of its latest issue, the "Piano Man" conceded, "There are things in my life that could make a good movie. He married this supermodel, then they had a kid, then they got divorced, then he crashed a car, then he went to rehab. That was like five minutes in my life. It wasn’t all sensational. I just hope they don’t get a short, fat, ugly guy to play me."
Billy spoke about the fact that at 70, he's still playing sold out shows every month at Madison Square Garden — along with a few scattered arena shows — and massive stadium dates in the summer: "It’s a miracle. My father was a better musician than me, and he couldn’t get anything going. Some of the people I admire, jazz guys, nobody really bought their records. Onstage (I’m thinking), 'Are you f***ing kidding me? When are they going to find me out? Women are screaming at me?’ I know what I look like in the mirror."
He says that the days of allowing a lousy review to ruin his day are long in the past: "I was my own worst enemy. I could get five good reviews, and the one bad review would drive me crazy: ‘Did you see what this guy said? That son of a b****!' (Laughs) And the audience would be like, ‘Huh, OK. I guess somebody thinks you suck.’ I was kind of dopey.”
Billy touched upon quitting the road in the 2000's following a string of massively successful joint tours with Elton John: "I was just tired. (I) wasn’t having fun anymore. That’s not a good way to work. The audience can see it." He revealed that he called on friends Bruce Springsteen and Don Henley for advice: "I was questioning a lot of things: ‘Why are you guys still doing this?’ And they would say, ‘This is what we do.’ And I said, ‘Y'know what? They’re right.’ I know how to do this. This is what I do. It takes a while to realize it.”
Billy Joel explained that his touring schedule these days is a perfect fit for a rocker his age with two small kids at home, admitting, "It’s a pussycat tour. Like semi-retirement. We used to do five, six gigs a week. . . This is my fourth marriage now. It’s not good for a relationship to be gone for that long. So I became a homey."
Regarding how long he intends to carry on performing live, Billy said, "My theory is, one night I’m going to suck. I won’t be able to hit the notes, I’ll forget the words, I’ll forget the music. I love the job too much to not be good."
Billy Joel says that an artist's temperament can at times wreak havoc on one's personla life — but it usually inspires the greatest work: ["Most artists — a lot of composers, a lot of painters, people who create — have tendencies of manic depression. We go up, we go down, we have these incredible euphoric highs and we have these depressed lows. And if we can utilize them as artists, it's good. If we can't utilize them, it's bad."] SOUNDCUE (:20 OC: . . . them it's bad)