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Billy Joel Sheds Light On Cooled Relationship With Elton John

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Billy Joel maintains that the reason why he and Elton John stopped touring earlier in the decade had nothing to do with a personal squabble. Billy, who’ll be playing England’s massive Wembley Stadium in September, spoke to London’s Daily Mail, and shed light on their relationship, saying, “That’s NOT the reason we’re not touring anymore. I got tired of doing the same show over and over again and I think his agent told him we were going to do more dates that I never agreed to. I kept seeing in the press, ‘Billy canceled the tour.’ I didn’t cancel it; it was never booked. I asked him, ‘Why didn’t you call me? Don’t talk to my agent, talk to me.’ I had to have my hips replaced and that was the reason I was out of commission. The last few gigs I did with Elton I could barely walk. I had canes — canes on stage is not good.”

In regards to Elton blaming Billy’s well-publicized battles with the bottle as the reason their incredibly lucrative “Face To Face” tours ended, Billy said, “I have had drinking issues in the past. So did he. I think at heart he meant well. . . At one point he said I went to a rehab that allowed me to have a dog. I thought, ‘You weren’t in rehab with me, you don’t know what happened.’ Once you go 30 days without a drink, you go OK, I get it. They dry you out. So I told him, instead of speaking these words, why don’t you write a few — because he doesn’t write lyrics.”

Billy went on to say: “Elton had a terrifying lifestyle when he checked into rehab. I didn’t have that problem. My drug was booze. A couple of years ago I went to a fundraiser for his AIDS foundation and I said, ‘Don’t throw your friends under the bus.'”

Elton John, who spent many years on the road with Billy Joel, believes that he still has more rock songs in his system, despite having not released a rock album since 1993: “He seems to say, ‘Well, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore.’ But, y’know, he’s not a rock n’ roll artist — he’s a great songwriter, and great songwriters always write songs, and there’ll be songs coming from Billy Joel’s piano again. I’m always saying, ‘Come on, come on, come on, come on,’ but in good time, he’ll do it again. In the meantime, he’s gone off and done something else, and he goes and does lectures and stuff like that. He’s enjoying himself. Y’know, he’ll, he’ll admit, ‘I’m just coasting at the moment,’ but I don’t think that he’s gonna be happy coasting.”

July 1 – Pittsburgh, PA – PNC Park At North Shore
July 9 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park
July 20 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
July 30 – Washington, DC – Nationals Park
August 9 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
August 18 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park
August 26 – Chicago, IL – Wrigley Field
September 3 – Frankfurt, Germany – Commerzbank
September 10 – London, England – Wembley Stadium
September 30 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
October 28 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
November 11 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
November 30 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
December 9 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
December 17 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden Arena

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mazur

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