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elton john & billy joel

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2/1/2013

During his recent chat with Rolling Stone Billy Joel touched upon his apparent feud with former touring partner Elton John. Joel responded to Elton’s 2011 charges in the same magazine about his lack of new material and the claim that Billy only attended designer rehabs — rather than committing to more strenuous programs. The quote came after Billy decided not to continue on with the pair’s highly lucrative “Face To Face” tour.

Billy told Rolling Stone that he felt that Elton was “in the right place” when he made the comments, but went on to explain: “We haven’t spoken, and I don’t know why. Elton doesn’t really know me that well. We toured together for 16 years and never really hung out. Elton assumes a lot about me that he doesn’t really know. If he thought I was screwing up or doing something bad, I don’t know why he didn’t just call me. I wasn’t as mad as I was disappointed.”

Back in 2011, Elton told Today, “He hates me at the moment and I understand why. He sent me a message and he’s not happy and I understand that. . . I’m sorry I had to say it, but I’m saying it because I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy. I understand why he’s p***ed with me and I can take that on the chin. . . That’s all it came from. I understand why he’s mad at me. I’m only trying to help. Maybe I should have done it privately, but I’ve been so frustrated over the years. Years ago when people tried to tell me, I didn’t talk to them for years. Now I look back and they were only trying to help. . . I love the guy. . . I wanna stress that. He may wanna punch my face in at the moment, but it’s OK.”

Shortly after, Billy Joel responded with a statement, which read:

1. I do not hate Elton John
2. I do not want to “punch him in the face”
3. If he wants to call me, my number is still the same.
4. Good luck with the movie. BILLY JOEL

We caught up with Billy and asked him about whether he’s getting the itch to release any of his latest classical pieces. He told us in so many words, “No”: “Nah. I’m not interested in disseminating it. I’m writing for my own edification, really. I’m just trying to learn how to do it. I’m still learning.”

We tried to force Billy’s hand by saying that if he didn’t release all this new classical music, by the time that it does reach the masses — possibly long after he’s dead — chances are the arrangers and performers might just get it all wrong: “Nah, nah, nah. If I have it on tape, y’know, maybe it’ll. . . it can get interpreted any way it wants. It’s like when I put out records and people wanna redo the songs their way: Great! G’head! Hey, I’m happy anybody’s doing anything of my stuff!”

Billy Joel will next perform on April 27th at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fairgrounds Racecourse.

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