Two-Headed Piano Demon To Rear Its Ugly Faces at a Ballpark Near You

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Hey, remember 1994? Yeah, me neither. I was too busy being a huge nerd back in high school, but not nearly nerdy enough to get excited about a concert tour pairing piano-playing pop performers Elton John and Billy Joel. Still, I remember every kid in marching band and the math club waiting on line at Bradlees to get tickets to the shows at Giants Stadium.

Well pull your feather boas out of storage and drunkenly crash your car into some lady's house because the noted ivory-tinklers are bringing their glam act to Wrigley Field and Citizens Bank Park this summer.

It will be the third summer concert to be staged at Wrigley Field since Jimmy Buffett performed in 2006. Sting followed with a concert in 2007.

John and Joel will open each concert with a series of duets, playing twin pianos and trading vocals. Each will then perform a set with his own band. The grand finale will have both on stage together for the encore.

Billy Joel and Elton John are the most successful and longest-running concert pairing in pop history. In July of 1994, they launched their first-ever tour in Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium.

Groan. Noted Long Island resident Billy Joel played the final concert at Shea Stadium last year along with such bland guest stars as John Mellencamp, Don Henley, and a fifth of cheap American blended whiskey. He's also played Yankee Stadium so he knows how to put tens of thousands of people to sleep at once.

In fact, when I was six, I slept through a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden. You can knock my native New Jersey all you want, but New Jersey has Springsteen while Long Island has Billy Joel. New Jersey 1, Long Island 0. The man hasn't even put out a new pop album since 1993.

Elton John, on the other hand, is absolutely talented once you look past all the bloated glam frou-frou garbage and pandering Marilyn Monroe/Princess Diana nonsense. Give me "Sixty Years On" or "Border Song" or "Burn Down the Mission" or "Country Comfort" over any Billy Joel song any day of the week.

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AIDS, Elton John? When did this turn into a male figure skating blog?

Will they do "Rock Bottom"?

Without getting all Alomar here, Elton John really did make some great records. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a masterpiece.

Billy Joel, however, is a pretty good litmus test for shitty taste in music. I challenge anyone to find schmaltzier lyrics than "Italian Restaurant".

I also would have accepted "Amoreena".

For my money, the schmaltz in "Piano Man" is tough to top.

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free

Since reading Klosterman's take on Joel, I went from indifferent to groggily awake.

Sing us a song, you're the piano man


But its better than drinkin alone

"Hey, remember 1994?" No, I only remember 80's Joel

I'm not the world's biggest Elton John fan, but Billy Joel is a hack.

Dueling pianos always remind me of this:

I quite like Billy Joel :( But I also like The Reynolds Girls so it is not saying much....

I love Klosterman, but that Joel take is one thing I still can't get on bored with.

As Chief points out, Elton's work in the 1970s is somewhat canonical. GBYBR, Madman Across The Water and Captain Fantastic are really really good records.

You're only allowed to play at Wrigley if, were there a benevolent God, you would have died long ago in a collapsing pile of flaming tires and garbage.

Also, I'm pretty sure it was the entire Police lineup, not just Sting, who played at the Friendly Confines in 2007.

And the waitress is practicing politics


/just trying to fit in

A bottle of white
A bottle of red
Or maybe a bottle of rose, instead

How about all three then driving into a tree you hack.

What a bunch of pianists.

Hmmm, that doesn't work as well in print.

JFK blown away what else do I have to say?


As Chief points out

Or as Rob pointed out in the post. You never give me credit for my awesome taste in music.

/cues up BoDeans album

Don't forget Davy, who's still in the Navy.

/worst lyric ever

Full disclosure: I do like "Captain Jack."

Now, back to the hilarity:
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar

Gorge, you forget most of Abba's "The Day before you came"

we didn't start the fire


You could travel to the darkest reaches of the rain forest, make first outside contact with indigenous hill people, be the only non tribe member to ever hear their ceremonial chant and Liakos would tell you they were better before they sold out.

And, although Elton has given us plenty of Broadway schmaltz, he has nothing on Joel, who infected Broadway with Movin' Out. BILLY JOEL IS SUCH A DICK.

For my money, the chord progression on "He works at Mr. Cacciatore's down on Sullivan Street" is one of the best in all of pop music.

Then again, I'm WoW's designated Celine Dion fan, so what do I know?

ou can knock my native Kansas all you want, but New Jersey has Springsteen while Kansas has ... Kansas. Okay, you win.

Kansas? Are they like Alabama?

I never really had a problem with..wait, Billy Joel is a METS fan? Fuck that guy!

Now Paul is a real estate novelist



To be fair, BJ did give us the theme to Bosom Buddies.

And the marching band kids I knew back in '94 really liked Dream Theater and Rush, and absolutely nothing else.

Dear rarebit, the answer to your question (and more!) in this 2001 Blender mag interview with the king of Long Island schmaltz.


No, Alabama is good.

This interview is a goldmine. A painful, schmaltzy goldmine. On his attempted suicide:

"I drank the furniture polish. I’ll never forget—I was sitting on a chair, waiting to die. All of a sudden, my stomach starts to process this stuff. I ended up farting furniture oil. It came out in little dabs"


New Jersey has The Gaslight Anthem. Long Island has (had) Latterman. Point for each.

From the best interview I've ever read:
Then they play “Piano Man.” Without lyrics, it’s very repetitive—there’s no place to go. They eventually look over at me, and I kind of nod, like, “Could’ve told you. You could’ve saved yourself a lot of trouble.”

Translation: I composed a pretty shitty tune. If your aim is to entertain people, you're best off never trying to play it.

New Jersey had the Four Seasons, the Fugees, the Misfits, Yo La Tengo, and Count Basie.

Long Island had Blue Oyster Cult and Eddie Money.

It's not even close, people.

Every good thing New Jersey has produced is negated by Bon Jovi.

I've got...two tickets to paradise!


/kills joke

@Rob, NJ has Bon Jovi, and LI has Twisted Sister

Also, Dramarama was from NJ and I always thought they were a pretty cool band. And let's not forget Sinatra is from NJ.

Jersey has Naughty by Nature, Redman, Queen Latifah, Ice-T, Lords of the Underground, and Akon.

LI has De La Soul, Busta, EPMD, LL, and Public Enemy.

Ok, that didn't help the Pro-Jersey argument.

Ted Leo cam from NJ. Public Enemy came from Long Island. Once again, point for each.

No musicians are from New York City except Lou Reed and that twerpy prep school guy from the Strokes.

Paul Simon was raised in NYC, but born in Newark, NJ.

So he's ours.

@freetzy, The Ramones were from Queens

For more great music from Long Island, check out the Long Island Music Hall of Fame or go to your local library.

Pat Benetar was from Lindenhurst. long Island loses.

Also, freetzy, do rappers count as musicians?

Southside Johnny counts as a negative for the Garden State.

Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes.


/wait, what?

twerpy prep school guy from the Strokes

Gotta be more specific than that.

@Honeynut: I guess I have to include Jay-Z because I don't want him to send his hired goons to beat me up.

@Matt: I meant the one who's dad runs a model pimping company, but you're right. That wasn't clear.

If I was a ballplayer I'd choose "Funeral For A Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)" as my at-bat music. If I'm only going to have 8 minutes in the majors, I'd like to milk it for all its worth.

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