Billy Joel: Piano Man Celebrates 65th Birthday With Concert at MSG

Image: Billy Joel: Piano Man Celebrates 65th Birthday With Concert at MSG

Friday, 09 May 2014 01:51 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Billy Joel plans to celebrate his milestone 65th birthday on Friday with a concert at Madison Square Garden. The Piano Man has been in the music industry for four decades and shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by his monthly gigs in New York City.

Though he hasn't produced an album of original songs since 1993's "River of Dreams," Joel remains a consummate musician, entertaining with his many classic hits, including "You May Be Right," "It's Still Rock and Rock To Me," "Only the Good Die Young," and "My Life."

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"I'm gonna be turning 65 this year," Billy Joel told an audience in March, according to Yahoo. "Most people retire at 65, but noooo! So, I need a neck brace to hold my head up."

As had been the case for perhaps thousands of shows, Joel's "neck brace" was a harmonica holder, which signaled that "Piano Man" was about to begin. The first commercial success for the Long Island native, the tune tells the stories of characters who were real people in Joel's world, during his time crooning in piano bars.

"All the characters in that song were real people," Joel told a Harvard audience in 1994. "John at the bar was this guy named John — and he was at the bar. Davy was in the Navy ... and probably still is. And the waitress was actually my first ex-wife ... a cocktail waitress while I was playing the piano at this place for a while."

Many of Joel's songs still resonate.

SiriusXM began broadcasting the Billy Joel Channel on March 26.

Last month, the kindergarten class at Deasy Elementary School in Glen Cove, New York, performed "The River of Dreams: A Billy Joel Tribute" as their spring concert, and Joel attended, according to Yahoo.

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