I pulled up to a red light the other day and the car next to me had the windows down and was absolutely blasting music. The guy sitting in the driver’s seat was rocking the fuck out, drumming his hands on the steering wheel, banging his head, and generally enjoying himself some goddamn RAWK. Nothing wrong with that, except that he was listening to Billy Joel. Yeah. You go, you fucking wild man. I’ll be honest with you, if he had reached down, picked a scab off of his taint and eaten it, it would not have lowered my opinion of him at that moment in time. Not in the slightest. Dude, Billy Joel?!?
The song in question was Big Shot, which is a song that I guess is middle-of-the-road-ok if your idea of excitement is double entry book keeping or something, but I can never hear that song without thinking about the part of the song where Billy Joel suddenly starts singing like he’s Count Chocula or something. Check out the 2:33 mark of this video. Or don’t. You’re probably better off taking my word for it. All of a sudden he just loses his fucking mind for a few seconds. How did this come about?
Billy Joel: ♫ No, no, no, no, you had to be a beeeeg shot, deeeent you? ♫
Producer: Uh, Billy, what’s with the Transylvanian accent there?
Billy Joel: Well, I kind of thought that the song needed a little something, you know?
Producer: I agree. Like a better melody, a better hook, better lyrics, a better singer…
Billy Joel: What? You are FIRED, you fucking asshole! I’ll get me a producer who knows how to take direction from the talent!
Producer: Fine, I’ll ask your agent to call Boris Karloff on my way out.
Who the fuck drives down the road jamming this song at top volume, and why aren’t mental health professionals firing lithium down his throat with a fucking fire hose?
I just don’t get Billy Joel.
Here’s a perfect example. Uptown Girl. Oh, fuck me, do I hate this song, and the video certainly doesn’t make it any more palatable:
One one level, I get this video. If you had the hots for Christie Brinkley but suffered from the notable handicap of looking like Billy Joel, you’d have to go way above and beyond in your courtship rituals. But shit, man, why the fuck do you have to subject the rest of us to it? That shit was just fucking shameful. He should have just gone ahead and beat off on her shoes at the end of it. It would have been a little more honest that way, somehow.
Also, something I just noticed right now causes me to ask this question: Why is Billy Joel wearing a shirt that reads “Boner Test”?
I guess that if you’re a guy and watching Billy Joel dance in this video gives you a boner, then you’ve passed the test, and you have incredibly low standards. Congratulations, now get the fuck away from me.
Another song that used to irritate the fuck out of me was We Didn’t Start the Fire, which always reminded me of R.E.M.’s It’s The End of the World in that both of them feature white guys saying lots of shit really fast over music. It’s kind of like rapping for white people, only because we’re so ineffably lame we forego references to running criminal empires, or anything remotely cool like that, and just resort to saying really lame stuff.
Michael Stipe: Hey, what’s something really cool and hip that rhymes with the word “line”?
Peter Buck: Leonard Bernstein?
Michael Stipe: Oh, that’s perfect! I’ll hold off on the Lawrence Welk reference until we get to the 24th verse.
(Little known, totally true R.E.M. fact: It’s the End of the World has 107 verses.)
And two years after this, Billy Joel kinda sorta rips off the idea with We Didn’t Start the Fire, only does it in typical Billy Joel style: With a giant butt-plug in his ass. Haha, I’m just kidding. He wasn’t wearing a butt-plug at the time, although now that I think about it, he hasn’t denied it either, has he? And this has to make you suspicious: He has not returned one of the 746 messages I have left him in the last 48 hours in regards to this. I don’t think that we, as a country, can go on unless we get to the bottom (heh) of this. I call upon all thinking Americans (and people who watch pro wrestling too) to write their congressional representative and demand a lengthy and incredibly expensive investigation into the contents of Billy Joel’s anal cavity during the recording of We Didn’t Start the Fire. Because if we don’t, then the terrorists have won.
Sorry, where were we? Oh, yeah, We Didn’t Start the Fire. I always thought that this wasn’t as good of an idea for a song as it was a premise for a wacky TV sitcom:
Arson Investigator: Mr. Joel, what can you tell me about what happened here tonight?
Billy Joel: We didn’t start the fire!
Arson Investigator: Ok, can you tell me who did?
Billy Joel: It’s been always burning since the world’s been turning.
Arson Investigator: So let me get this straight… Are you telling me that you built your house on a site that was already on fire before you began construction?
Billy Joel: Well, we didn’t light it but we tried to fight it.
Arson Investigator: You’re a fucking idiot, you know that?
Oh, man, just now as I was looking through a list of videos by Billy Joel on YouTube (which has fucking destroyed my recommended videos section until the end of time), I saw a video screen-cap for the song You’re Only Human:
Yes, Billy Joel would like to remind his fans that they are not immortal, and one day their remains will be lowered into the ground where they will be devoured by worms and insects. Thanks for that little nugget of uplifting wisdom, Billy, you fucking asshole.
I could go on and on about Billy Joel songs I hate, and I guess I already have in the case of Piano Man, but just for the sake of thoroughness may I just say this: Ladies, if it is Girl’s Night Out, and you find yourself in a bar with your friends, wearing coordinated skimpy black dresses, drinking white wine and getting all loopy and shit, please remember that just because you see a piano and a man playing that piano, that is no reason for you to yell, “Piano Man! Wooooooooo!”
The only thing I like about Billy Joel is the song Moving Out, not because of the song itself, which I don’t care for, but because it has given me endless entertainment in business meetings over the years.
Boss: Ok, so it looks like June 1st is a doable target date then?
Project Manager: I don’t know. That assumes a lot of hours are being logged between now and then. I’d like to see things go at a more sustainable pace.
Greg: I agree. After all, recent studies have shown that working too hard can give you a heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack.
Project Manager: …
Boss: Ok, on to the next item on the agenda: Why we’re not going to invite Greg to any more meetings.
So I guess I owe Billy Joel a thanks for that. But for the rest of his catalog of songs, I’m going to burn his fucking house to the ground. As far as arson investigators are concerned, my story will be that it’s been always burning since the world was turning.