Billy Joel revealed that the attacks on 9/11 led him to an alcohol free fall and depression. Billy, who's overseas now for a series of shows in England and Ireland, told The Telegraph, "I was in New York on 9/11, and it had a devastating impact on me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I went into a deep depression and started drinking. I lost faith in humanity." He went on to explain that he was drawn out of his depression by Pakistani teen Malala Yousafza, who fought for her right for an education and as Billy says, "was shot by the Taliban." Yousafza published her autobiography and become a global advocate for women's education. Billy claimed that his depression was broken by her story, saying, "She is the antidote. We need people like that. I get inspired by people like that."
He touched upon the fact that he hasn't released an album in 20 years, saying, "Just because I can put out albums and the record company would release them and people would buy them, that don't mean I should. I got bored writing popular music. I just got tired of writing in the same format -- it can't be too long, it's got to be played on the radio. It's a box, and after a while that box becomes a coffin."
Even without new music to promote, fans are chomping at the but for news about Billy's 2014 North American dates -- with only one show in Sunrise, Florida announced: "I don't sit around saying, 'Gee I miss the adulation, I want the applause.' But what I do miss is making music with other musicians. . . I want to do these dates and see how it feels to get back in the saddle."
It's been a long 20 years since the release of Billy Joel's last set of original rock songs, the chart-topping, River Of Dreams album. He explained that he left the songwriting trade will a telling and poignant kiss-off: "I wrote a song called 'Famous Last Words.' I felt like I had reached a point where I wasn't gonna write songs anymore. It was sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It says, 'These are the last words I have to say/for that's the story of my life.' It just seemed like that was the time to write that song, and I kinda closed the book."
Billy Joel performs on Friday (November 11th) in Dublin, Ireland at the O2 Dublin.
Photo Courtesy of BillyJoel.com