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Old 12-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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Billy Joel Announces Madison Square Garden Residency

Billy Joel announces Madison Square Garden residency
Originally published: December 3, 2013 11:56 AM
Updated: December 3, 2013 9:43 PM
By GLENN GAMBOA glenn.gamboa@newsday.com

Meet Madison Square Garden's newest franchise: Billy Joel.

The Piano Man will be the first-ever artist-in-residence at a major arena, after a historic agreement announced Tuesday that will have Joel playing the Garden monthly for as long as fans want him.

The first of the new concerts in his residency will be May 9 -- his 65th birthday. Pre-sale tickets will be available to Citi Private Pass program cardholders starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster.

"There's no better venue in the world," Joel said. "I'm honored to be part of the Madison Square Garden family."Joel said he was honored that the Garden approached him with the idea, especially as a Hicksville native.

"This was the mecca," Joel said after the announcement. "When I was coming up on Long Island, New York was where you wanted to get to -- that's where things happened. To do this is crazy. I'm still trying to digest it."

Joel was welcomed to the venue by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Madison Square Garden Co. executive chairman James Dolan and members of the other Garden franchises -- the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty.

"How fitting it is that a New York icon joins another New York icon," Cuomo said. "Billy tells the New York story because Billy is the New York story. . . . Faced with hardship and challenge, his determination, hard work and talent overcame, time and time again."

Dolan said he expected the partnership to yield "many unforgettable nights of music," before adding, "Billy, having you as our music franchise feels a little bit like having the pope as your parish priest."Though artist residencies have become increasingly common in Las Vegas, where Garth Brooks and soon Britney Spears will have regular shows, they have yet to be tried at major arenas, especially ones with schedules as packed as the Garden's sports-and-concert-filled slate.

However, the arrangement worked well for both the venue and Joel.

Melissa Ormond, president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, said, "Billy will be a major part of our future and will serve as a powerful anchor for the Garden's concert schedule."

Gary Bongiovanni, president and editor-in-chief of Pollstar, which covers the concert industry, said the partnership seems like "a natural marriage" and could run for the foreseeable future. "If it does well, it could almost be an alternative to Broadway as a draw to New York," he said, adding that it's a great move for the Garden. "Who wouldn't want a guaranteed sell-out every month?"The Joel connection sets the Garden, which recently completed a $1 billion renovation, apart in an increasingly crowded arena landscape in the area, which now includes Brooklyn's Barclays Center and Newark's Prudential Center, as well as the soon-to-be-renovated Nassau Coliseum.

Cuomo said he expected the residency to draw Joel's fans from around the world to New York to see him. Joel wasn't looking for a strenuous schedule because his voice now needs more time to recover between shows. However, his recent tour of England and Ireland, and a warm-up gig at Huntington's Paramount theater reinforced how much he still enjoys performing -- though it may have also convinced him how much he likes to be at home in Oyster Bay.

"I've been schlepping for almost 50 years now and I'm tired of the schlep," he said, though he will continue to play sporadic dates around the country. "This way, I can commute to work. It just all works."

Joel said before agreeing to the arrangement he consulted with various friends, including Bruce Springsteen, who said, " 'That's not a bad idea. You don't have to schlep all over the world,' " according to Joel.Joel will receive the Kennedy Center Honor, the nation's highest award for performers, on Sunday, following a White House reception and State Department dinner. He then returns home to prepare for his New Year's Eve concert at Barclays Center, several Florida shows and his previously scheduled Garden gigs, which start Jan. 27.

He said it was his idea to celebrate his 65th birthday on stage. "What am I gonna do? Wear a silly hat?" he said, laughing. "I'd rather be working."
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:32 PM   #2
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That's going to be interesting. I'm waiting to see how it turns out before I judge it because...what's there really to judge it against?

I've gotta think after a few performances, it's gonna grow a little stale. This isn't like Vegas were there's an entirely new crop of people in town, basically, every day. Obviously, though, NYC gets a lot of tourism.


I'm really excited about the Kennedy Center Honor, though, didn't know about that. Those tend to result in a ton of fascinating covers.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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I had no idea he was 65. I would have guessed younger than that.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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Great for Billy and also his fans. With no new rock album since 1993, he'll have to play every song in his catalog to keep things fresh.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:43 PM   #5
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I had no idea he was 65. I would have guessed younger than that.
It seems about right, he's been doing this since the 70s...but isn't that always a crazy revelation?
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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I had no idea he was 65. I would have guessed younger than that.

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Old 12-05-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
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That's going to be interesting. I'm waiting to see how it turns out before I judge it because...what's there really to judge it against?

I've gotta think after a few performances, it's gonna grow a little stale. This isn't like Vegas were there's an entirely new crop of people in town, basically, every day. Obviously, though, NYC gets a lot of tourism.

I'm really excited about the Kennedy Center Honor, though, didn't know about that. Those tend to result in a ton of fascinating covers.
It's Billy Joel in New York City... He could do this for years if he wanted to, and the demand would be there.

The shows have been very difficult to get tickets for thus far (I've failed every time ). And he hasn't performed in a long time, so many fans haven't seem him for many years. And he's not just doing "hits" shows... He's playing his entire catalog.

So I'd say this will last for as long as he wants it to. It'll be interesting to see if other artists follow similar paths, especially those getting long in the tooth and don't feel like traveling the world quite as often anymore.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
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There are a two things I know:

1) I have never seen Billy Joel live.

2) I have never been to NYC.


I have a feeling, if in the near future, my fortunes should change, monetarily speaking, I will be fixing these two factors simultaneously.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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I suspect that I'll partake of this in the Summer. Have never seen the man perform and I think I'm finally enjoying his music once again, after so many years of just being overexposed.
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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I saw him in concert 5 years ago, and I loved it. I would definitely see him again, such a musical genius.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:17 PM   #11
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One of my concert regrets was not seeing Billy on his Storm Front tour back in 1990. He was still in his prime back then.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
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One of my concert regrets was not seeing Billy on his Storm Front tour back in 1990. He was still in his prime back then.
As in, he was still drunk

He was my first "favorite" artist. Not a surprise as a kid growing up on Long Island.

I've seen him three times, all in the 90s, all at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. My first concert was Billy Joel on New Year's Eve during the River of Dreams tour.

As NSW said he got a little over exposed... and I started getting into other artists... Pearl Jam, some no name Irish band...

Would always come back to him though... and its been way way too long since i've seen him live. Will definitely change that soon.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:03 PM   #13
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I'm not sure if he was my first favorite artist, but he was one of the first musicians I can actively remember wanting to see live. It was during the first Piano Men tour. I heard the ad on the radio and I beeegggggeeeedddd my mom to take me...

...she did not.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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As in, he was still drunk

He was my first "favorite" artist. Not a surprise as a kid growing up on Long Island.

I've seen him three times, all in the 90s, all at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. My first concert was Billy Joel on New Year's Eve during the River of Dreams tour.

As NSW said he got a little over exposed... and I started getting into other artists... Pearl Jam, some no name Irish band...

Would always come back to him though... and its been way way too long since i've seen him live. Will definitely change that soon.

Yes, he was one of my early favorites as well. One of my older sisters was a big fan, so I'd hear his music a lot. I don't even remember the reason for not going to see him on that tour. I was 17. It could have been anything. The Coliseum is a good place to see a show. I saw my first U2 show there in '92. The place gets pretty loud.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
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I'd pay just to see him do Piano Man.

We Didn't Start the Fire always reminds me of The Office.
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