Although he complained about the early hour's effect on his voice, Billy Joel was charming, frank and informative in his interview today with Howard Stern. Howard warmed up the piano early in the show by playing Twilight Zone. Billy wanted to take a bathroom break midway through his interview. Howard was fearing that Billy would leave and not come back, so he instructed Gary to lock all the exits. Not only did Billy return, but it sounded like he was willing to stay all day. He'd love to come back as long as it was after 5pm. What is Billy up to these days? He is the owner of a motorcycle shop that he does not expect to make any money. 20th Century Motorcycles opened this week in Oyster Bay, LI.
Here are some interesting tidbits from the interview:
"Laziness can be a terrific ingenuity." Billy was talking about how Scenes From An Italian Restaurant came about. He referred to the B Side of Abbey Road. George Martin took three unfinished songs and pieced them together as one. Billy said he spoke to Paul McCartney about this and that's exactly how that happened. He also had three unfinished songs and pieced them together for Italian Restaurant.
Billy dissected and later played Summer, Highland Falls. He wanted the music to reflect his ups and downs, his sadness and euphoria. He played the basic outline of the song which was musical ups and downs and then filled it in to what we now know as that wonderful song.
Bob Dylan, always protective or over the top, depending on how you look at it, had a guy deliver a tape of the song To Make You Feel My Love that he wanted Billy to cover. Billy said Bob sent the guy so he could take the tape back. The song appears on his Greatest Hits Volume lll.
There was a brief conversation about forming a one time super group with Sting and Don Henley. It never got past the talking stage.
Allentown was originally going to be called Levittown, but the lyrics were so boring, he decided to change locales.
Big Shot was written as if Mick Jagger were singing to his then wife, Bianca. Billy went to dinner with the both of them and it seemed to him that Mick was over Bianca and her lifestyle.
A little insight into a prolific career.