Billy Joel

June 11, 2012

There have been so many questions that have rippled throughout the cosmos as time has withered away through the eons.

What’s the meaning of life? Why are we here?

If you created a gun that shoots knives and shot someone with it, would the cause of death be shooting or stabbing?

Hard hitting questions, indeed.

However, none of these questions burn with the ferocity of the controversy that has smoldered for the last two decades:

Billy Joel or Elton John?

Now, I think we all know which side of the issue I fall upon, but this time around, I feel compelled to take time to ponder the other side of the fence, the man that falls short for me every time.

Now, Billy Joel is a very talented man. He’s written some of the most well known songs of our time, and even some that perfectly summarize the events or trends of America in the last 50 or so years.

I can’t take that away from him. No one can.

Not even his DUIs and that time he drove his car through a building can do that, especially because I’m not sure if it really happened or if the writers for SNL made it up.

Regardless, Horatio Sanz was amazing as Billy Joel.

I’ve got to admit that “Piano Man” has always been one of my favorite songs, just behind “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Iron Man,” “Tax Man,” “Nowhere Man,” and “Macho Man.”

I don’t know what it is about “Piano Man” that I love so much. Maybe it’s the storytelling. Maybe it’s realizing that the crippling sense of loneliness and the need to belong to something larger than you, that terrifying depression and icy prickling of sadness crawling down your back every time you take a swig or lie in bed at night, freezing and alone, is just something that we all experience from time to time, a universal feeling that flows through the hivemind of humanity like a raging tornado of death and feces, a storm that hits once every few months, rolling right over you and continues on to the next poor soul.

Or maybe it’s just the harmonica.

Who cares? It’s a great song, and that’s what truly matters.

And honestly, Billy’s got plenty of great songs.

I remember singing one a long time ago in choir. I think it was my first semester in the class, back when we had a great teacher and a great lot of section leaders.

My, how the class fizzled after semesters upon semesters of tired music and strapping my fat self into a tuxedo and parading around under hot lights for hours at a time.

No matter. That first semester, singing “And So It Goes,” that was would I’d call great times.

Making music and doing it damn well.

That’s what Billy’s good at.

Still, I like Elton just a bit better.




This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Sam Jones for this one, even though she expected it a month ago on Billy Joel’s birthday.

It’s out of my hands, Sam.

I just do what I’m told.

Truly ghjr


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