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Billy Joel on why he hates TV, saying goodbye to his MSG residency

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Billy Joel is getting ready to wrap his Madison Square Garden residency in July, and while fans got a taste of the show when his 100th concert aired on CBS earlier this year, Billy wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of the telecast.


“I’m never crazy about doing TV. I don’t think I’m telegenic anyway,” he tells Variety. “I think I’m one of those artists who should be heard and not necessarily seen.”

He adds, “I don’t like being on camera. I’m camera-shy. … it just doesn’t feel rock ‘n’ roll when you’re on camera.”

Fans at home wound up upset when CBS mistakenly cut the telecast short in the middle of his “Piano Man” performance, with Joel sharing he “wasn’t surprised” it happened. 

“I’ve never been really happy with the way music is presented on television,” he says. “I wasn’t surprised that it got cut off short because I’ve always kind of been cut short by TV.” 

Joel says he’s looking forward to playing other venues in New York City when the residency ends, something he wasn’t allowed to do because of an exclusivity clause. He does think he’ll miss the place, noting the venue’s “acoustically perfect.”

But even though he’s saying goodbye, it doesn’t mean he’ll never be back.

“I am kind of remorseful about not playing there anymore, for the time being,” he says. “It doesn’t mean we can’t go back there any time. … And if we get an opportunity to play the Garden again, we probably will.” 

Billy Joel’s final Madison Square Garden residency show is happening July 25. A complete list of show dates can be found at billyjoel.com.

 

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