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Billy Joel Thought Others Deserved Kenedy Center Honor Before Him
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Billy Joel Thought Others Deserved Kenedy Center Honor Before Him
Although Billy Joel was thrilled with receiving the Kennedy Center Honor earlier this month in Washington, D.C. -- the Long Island, New York native felt strange accepting the tribute. Billy spoke about the ceremony, which aired on December 29th on CBS, admitting to Zap2it.com, "I was surprised. I honestly, really thought there were a lot of people who were deserving before I was going to get this. . . jazz musicians, classical musicians, just other people. I've had so much fun, it's like I'm getting an award for doing something I love. Which is an award in itself. . . It's a really good lineup."
 
He went on to say: "I'm still kind of 'Wow!' because I admire all those people. I'm happy I don't have to speak at this; I'd just be, 'Homina-homina-homina,' like Jackie Gleason."
 
Joel, who was honored by friends Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, and Don Henley, said of the Kennedy Center Honor: "I guess it's our version of knighthood. It would be kind of cool if you could kneel before the president and get tapped on the shoulder with a sword and receive a helmet and a banner. It's fine, though."
 
He went on to note that the honor is coming at a special time in his career: "Next year will be my 50th year in show business and we're starting to do some gigs, so I guess it's all just kind of dovetailing."
 
A while back, Billy Joel listed for us the major highlights of his personal and professional life: "First gig I ever did where I got paid. I was in a band, I was 15 years old, I played the Holy Family Church in Hicksville, I thought we sounded great, maybe we sucked, but I thought we sounded great. And then at the end of the night, the priest gave us 15 bucks apiece.

Which in 1964 was like, I don’t know, 1,500 dollars. The next highlight was when I actually got a paycheck big enough that I could quit my factory job, I think I was 19, and most musicians know it’s very difficult to make a living completely as a musician. And I went to the boss at the factory, and I said, ‘Take this job and shove it up your. . .' just like the Johnny Paycheck song. And the other big highlight would be the birth of my daughter." :
 
Tonight - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center
January 7, 11 - Sunrise, FL - BB&T Center
January 17 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times Forum
January 22 - Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
January 27 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
February 3 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
February 9 - Raleigh, NC - PNC Arena
February 15 - Auburn Hills, MI - The Palace Of Auburn Hills
February 21 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center 
March 21 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
April 18 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
May 9 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
May 17, 22 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl 
June 7 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
June 21 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
July 2 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
August 7 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena
September 17 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden Arena

Photo Courtesy of Billy Joel/MSG
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