Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Billy Joel,  “Piano Man” Life-Long Depression: He Says He “Used Booze as Medication Following 9/11 Attacks.”
My retort: ”Honesty is such a lovely word…”  Let’s Get Real “Piano Man!”  This is the time for “Honesty”….9/11  REALLY MADE YOU AN INVETERATE DRUG ADDICT and ALCOHOLIC?
To me “That’s A New York State of Mind”----“Captain Jack”!
  I am a great fan of Rock’n Roll.   I grew up in the streets of NYC’s Harlem and I played all the radio hits that I could consume secretly  because  I was supposed to be practicing classical music.
Roll Over-Beethoven!!!
  It was Allan Freed,  Murray-the K, and “Jock-A-Mo” and many other famous DJs who helped to steer me away from the “Baby Grand” toward the sounds and rhythms of “Prelude/Angry Young Man”.
  Clearly,   Billy Joel was one of the great musicians to whom I listened,  danced and spent the few coins I had to attend several of his concerts.   He is a great American singer, songwriter and performer!
No one can take away his brilliant accomplishments—not even “The Entertainer”  himself,  recounting the tragedies and foibles of “The Entertainer” and “My Life.”
In songs,  he has all the right to denote,  sing,  scream,  and create all the fiction he may want to do because  after all he is “The Entertainer” and can create any “Invention in C minor”.
  But when it comes to the consequences of the tragedy of 9/11,  this becomes a matter where an “Innocent Man” like me “I Go To Extremes.”   “Don’t ask me Why” but I will tell you…
“Big Shot”,   can you really believe that “Pressure” from 9/11 made you,  Piano Man, an ‘alky”?:

“I started with Dewars White Label Scotch and then, when I really got heavy into it, it was vodka.  Vodka is a hard-core alky drink.   I could take it in shots or I could just mix it with something.” 
Billy Joel then goes on in the NY Times interview to reveal:
“….I drank during the divorce or something.”
  “Or something”… let me,  the “Innocent Man” try to examine why the “Piano Man” had a major problem with “Honesty”.    Unfortunately,  9/11 was not the cause of your Drug Addiction and Alcoholic problems because in that event  “Only The Good Die Young.”  
So your own troubled past is what made you “Just The Way You Are”.
  “And So It Goes”…let’s get some scenes of the “Piano Man” from his “Lullabye”  to the “Uptown Girl” and see if “[I]You may be right”… “Please Don’t Ask Me Why”.
Here is “My Life” of “The Entertainer”:
---Father Helmuth Joel,  a German Jew and Mother,  English Jewess,  Rosalind Nyman--both escape Nazi Holocaust.   That’s a milestone for Holocaust guilt,  a major precursor  for Jews who have survived the Holocaust.   It’s often seen in survivors who feel guilty.  
---Evidence for above,  ”You May Be Right,” observations:
In 1970,   Billy Joel left a suicide note which inspired the lyrics to “Tomorrow Is Today”,  and attempted to commit suicide by drinking furniture polish,  saying later,  ”I drank furniture polish.  It looked tastier than bleach.”    His drummer assistant, Jon Small,   rushed him to the hospital.   Joel checked into Meadowbrook Hospital.   “The Piano Man” was inspired to write “You’re Only Human”[Second Wind] as a message to help prevent teen suicide.
 --in 2002, Joel entered Silver Hill Hospital,  a substance abuse and psychiatric center in New Canaan, Conn.
--In March 2005,  he was admitted to the Betty Ford Center where he was treated for alcohol abuse.
 -January 7, 2006, “The Entertainer” had not released or wrote  new song in 13 years.    Creative Exhaustion— “The Longest Time” and “Lullabye” to music creativity.
 - The failure of success led “The Piano Man” to become furious and depressed.
The success of his piano-driven ballads like “The Way You Are”,  “She’s Always A Woman” and “Honesty”  led some critics label the “The Entertainer” as a balladeer and soft rocker.   Joel found these labels unfair and insulting.
But’s that’s “Just The Way You Are” !
--But of course,  It’s his series of famous marriages and subsequent divorces that reeked havoc on his life –more significantly than 9/11 for certain.
--On March 24, 1985, Joel married Christie Brinkley.   This was the second of three marriages but its the one that lead to the most lyrical and poignantly personal of all of his compositions—“UPTOWN GIRL”.
  I had not heard a better song in “The Longest Time” until he wrote , “Leave  A Tender Moment Alone” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.
I pay my tribute to a music genius by imploring him to take it easy on himself and learn to enjoy your past successes and perhaps pass on your magical talents through teaching future generations of musicians…
  Because….”It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”…so don’t let the “Pressure” get to you.
Don’t forget “Piano Man”  that there will always be an “Allentown“ somewhere so that you and the Boss, Springsteen, have to decry it in your lyrics.
  Ars Longa, vita Brevis…
  Art is long.  Life is short!!!   


  1. Dr.P are you living in a time-warp?

    You state that you went to Billy Joel concerts spending the few pennies you had when you were growing up in Harlem....


    Billy Joel was first performing in the mid-1970s, then had to hide from his label to escape his contract, then re-emerged in 1977 to record "The Stranger."

    This was all well over a decade after you left home, and in fact by this time you had already finished Medical School and graduate school at MIT....

    I don't know if this is all "time compression" or something, but this story cannot be true.

    Furthermore, although I don't know this to be true I doubt that you ever grew up or lived in Harlem. I think your parents had much more means than that or you wouldn't have been able to afford the Universities and schools you attended much less invest in real estate in Lebanon, Bulgaria, and at one time "own a bank."

    As for Billy Joel's musical abilities...

    As a composer he stinks. He's the worst of popular music/top 40/tin pan alley. "Just the Way You Are" was his one ballad, and it's good. But everything else is just garbage, including "Keep it to Yourself It's My Life!" and "Only the Good Die Young" and "Uptown Girl" and "It's all Rock and Roll To Me..."

    The era he fell into was the 1980s, and was characterized by only crap like "Duran-Duran" and "Hughy Lewis and the News" and "Billy Idol" and similar pure fecal shit.

    Now the era which spawned him was the richest in popular culture - the early 1970s with Cat Stevens, David Gates, Paul Williams, Leon Russell, Jimmy Webb, Paul Simon, and even Hal David and Burt Bacharach were able to pen a few hits early on for such as the 5th Dimension and other extremely talented performers. And this doesn't even mention the best of the black composers and artists such as The Delfonics, The Stylistics, Bloodstone, and on and on......

    The cultural and social tensions and struggles which produced these kinds of exemplary talents no longer exist here, and we are the poorer for having lost those creative tensions.

    1. If you wanna hear what real music sounds like check out John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman performing Billy Strayhorne's Lush Life...

      "To ease the bite of it..."
      "I'll smile inspite of it...."

    2. Or check out Aretha Franklin doing "I Say A Little Prayer." Now that's what music should be, not this, "You had to be a big shot last night...."

      Aretha Franklin:

    3. your taste suck as much as Billy Joel's music!

    4. Do you really think the issue here is a matter of "taste?"

      LOL that shows how much you know....

      My views are supported by the universal consensus of music critics...yes critics, as in EXPERTS on what good music is.

      If you want to go against the facts of experts and claim that what's good or bad in music is a matter of "opinion" then you can continue listening to bad music such as Huey Lewis, KISS, AC/DC, Metallica, Air Supply, Matchbox 20, Guns and Roses, Lady Gaga, and last but not least....


      [undoubtedly your hero]

  2. Billy Joel is a major talent and is one of my favorite musicians. But, if he can go on a binge because of 9/11 ("It really, really hurt that man could do that to man," he continues, "And then there was a breakup with somebody, and it took me a while to get me back on my feet again." - NYT), please don't tell him who brought down the Twin Towers. I believe he still has some music in him, and I'd rather he didn't know.

    1. I guess you must like "Hughy Lewis" and "Culture Club" also.....

      For what it's worth every critic of popular music has Billy Joel on their "worst music" list. Just look it up.

      Billy Joel had both of his hips replaced about two years ago.

      That's prolly the real reason why he hits the sauce.

      Anyway unlike Paul McCartney, Jimmy Webb or any other real artist Billy Joel is a physical wreck who looks twenty years older than his real age because he's no artist but just another rocker bum.

    2. You know I have to say Dr.P as a psychiatrist surely you know that addicts always have an incredible excuse why the fall off the wagon.....

      "My ball team lost the game so I felt so bad I had no choice than to start using drugs again..."

      "I heard my nephew fell off his bike and skinned his knee so I had to get drunk...."

      "I didn't get the promotion I put in for so of course I went on a three day crack binge..."

      All too familiar from these kinds of assholes.

  3. Now putting on my "psychological warfare analyst's" hat let me say that the forms, themes, messages, values and beliefs contained in the predominating popular arts of any culture tell the whole story about what's going on in that society.

    It's like a "rosetta stone" which can un-lock every important issue about the state of a society, country, etc....

    Also it's undeniably true that artistic genius has to have struggle and tension in order to generate. No great artist [and Paul Simon and Paul McCartney are great artists] ever became great by living in an easy and decadant society.

    No where is this illustrated more than in black culture, whereas in the past when they were truely impoverished, and socially repressed, their artists generated truely sublime and elegant music such as Billy Strayhorne, Charlie Parker, and everthing created until hip-hop came along.

    Since all the suppression and real struggle has been relieved just look at what they do now....

    To a lesser extent the same is true of whites - Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and all the rest of these vapid acts.

    1. And the same thing for this "Adele," who can't write worth a shit.

    2. "Let the sky-fall!"

      "Let the sky-fall!"

      "Let the sky fa----lll!

    3. She's no Johnny Mercer LOL!

  4. John Barry would have said....

    "You only live twice..."
    "Or so it seems..."
    "One life for yourself and one for your dreams..."

    "You live through the years,"
    "And pay the price."
    "Make one dream come true you only live twice"
    "You only live twice..."

    "And love is a stranger, who beckons you on."
    "Don't think of the danger for the stranger is gone...."

    "You live for your dreams."
    "And pay the price"
    "Make one dream come true,
    You only live twice.........."

  5. One of the truest lines in poetry was penned by John Barry for "Diamonds are Forever..."

    "Men are mere mortals not worth going to your grave for!"

  6. Diamonds are for---ever!
    They are all I need to please me.
    They can captivate and tease me.
    They won't leave in the night
    I've no fear that they might..desert me.

    Diamonds are forever.
    Hold one up and then caress it.
    Put it on and then possess it.

    I don't need love....
    What good would love do me!
    Diamonds never lie to me.

  7. ho. no such thing as jazz snobs ; fact billy joel is just great when youre in the mood for a plain mans singsong views of life.
    the greatest song isnt any of the ones you guys drool about anyhow. its that one ''river of dreams''.
    okay lets see if anyone here can write anything whatever; sing it in the voice of an actual adult male; get it even vaguely recognised; make a no? well in that case shut up.

    1. So your standard is whatever can make a million dollars??

      If I can't make a million dollars making music than I should shut up??

      That's like me saying,

      "Hey all you people shut up about Barak Obama until you can go out and be elected President yourself!"

    2. And another thing gerry stevens..

      Your pic looks a lot like Steve Jung. I met him shortly after he got out of prison the second time and he's a hoot. You look just like him, and that' not bad. I like Steve Jung.

  8. Okay I will say one thing positive about Billy Joel in that when I lived in Boston in the hot August of 1985 going to MIT I remember "Leave the Tender Moment Alone" on the radio and I liked it. Whenever I hear it I remember moving into my Puerto Rican girlfriend's apartment in Brookline and we had a couple of happy weeks together before she un-masked herself as a psycho-PR bitch from hell [which is what some people do after they've tricked you into a marriage or some other form of fixed relationship. That was a long and unpleasant, cold fall semester but at least there was the first season of Miami Vice to watch and our new roommate was a nineteen year old Jewish girl from Miami who had an awesome ass and totally made up for the shortcomings of the PR girlfriend.

    I had to make long walks in the cold to the Star Market to get anything decent to eat. The PR girlfriend was as useless in the kitchen as anywhere else.

    1. I will say this for the PR girlfriend...she was hot. But not as hot as the Jewish girl from Miami or the other girls she had over from time to time. They were all really hot. PR girls are like Mexican girls in that they're freakin' horny.

    2. The best girlfriends I've ever had have been Mexican girls from the Rio Grande valley of Texas - the cities of Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, Edingburg, etc....[even the one girl who was a twin from Rio Grande City].

      These girls are very passionate, and they are always cheerful. They are always smiling, never complain, never feel entitled to anything special, are very appreciative of anything you do....

      They are gorgeous and sweet and perfect..every one of them.