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Archaon

Billy Joel is a dick.

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I confess that, by and large, I’m not really into a lot of music that hasn’t previously been a background accompaniment to stomping on the heads of my enemies or hurling fireballs ad nauseum. However, even to someone like me, there are certain musicians that you just can’t NOT know about, and Billy Joel is one of them.

However, upon closer examination, I have discovered that this man is, in fact, a total bastard that needs to be stopped. What led me to this conclusion? Well, I think we need only take a look at some of his songs in order to see the truth. Let’s put some his work beneath the magnifying lens, shall we?

Only The Good Die Young: Jesus, Billy, SHE DOESN’T WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU. I know that the thought of a girl not immediately wanting to jump your crotchet confuses you because you’re just so great, but you need to learn to allow people their little quirks.

Sure, the idea of abstaining from sex before marriage is rather antiquated and silly, but if that’s how she wants to play it then that’s her own damn business. A little determination in persuading her otherwise is all well and good, but there’s a line between “determination” and “borderline rapist”.

You know what, Billy? If you wanted to have sex without getting married, maybe you shouldn’t have gone after a Catholic schoolgirl in the first place. And even if you do manage to convince her, what happens then? Now you’ve got to demand that she start on birth control as well.

Not that I blame you for being drawn in by those uniforms, but ultimately it’s all just going to end up on the floor anyway.

Everybody Loves You Now: Yeah, Billy. You’re totally in a position to write snide songs about famous people, criticising them for being shallow.

My Life: Damn right, Billy! Stick it to those bastards telling you that you shouldn’t sleep in strange places!

Come on. The message that you shouldn’t allow others to dictate how you live is a sound one, but there is such a thing as good advice, and not going to sleep in any old place falls under that category. “You wake up with yourself”, Billy? Well, sure, but probably not with your valuables.

But hey, by all means, go ahead and take a snooze on that park bench. Maybe some nimble-fingered hobo will pilfer your wallet and watch while you sleep, but at least you’ll awaken knowing that you’re an independent, free-thinking man who doesn’t have to take advice from anyone!

Big Shot: "Ooh, and when you wake up in the mornin'

With your head on fire

And your eyes too bloody to see

Go on and cry in your coffee

But don't come bitchin' to me"

Damn, Billy. That’s pretty harsh. What'd this girl do, mug your mother or something?

Nope. Turns out her only crime is "being a big shot".

What does that even mean, Billy? A big shot? You mean, like, someone famous? A person with a lot of influence? Someone important in their field?

Kind of like you, Billy?

Movin’ Out: Don’t work too hard to make a living! It’s not like you really need all that money. I mean, what are you going to do with it all anyway?

Incidentally, Billy, what’s it like living in a twenty million dollar house? I’m just curious.

The Entertainer: Oh, I get it. You realised you screwed up with “Everybody Loves You Now”, so to make up for it, you wrote a song telling us that you “know where you stand” and that you’ll be gone from our memories within a year. Sure, Billy. Whatever you say, Billy. Your popularity is just so fleeting and ethereal, and that’s why you consistently made the charts throughout your career for thirty years and composed such timeless classics as “Piano Man” that continue to endure to this day.

FUCK you, Billy.

She’s Always A Woman: She’s a liar, she’s a thief, she never admits fault and she’s cruel just for shits and giggles…but she’s still a woman, you know?

Actually, come to think of it, she sounds like a perfect match for you. Congrats, Billy. That’s a keeper.

Just The Way You Are: At first glance, this seems like a nice enough song. Billy tells his woman that she doesn’t need to change herself because he loves her just as she is. Fair enough.

That is until he slips in the line “I don’t want clever conversation”, implying that she isn’t capable of it.

Well, of course, Billy. Women obviously don’t know shit about being clever, and that’s just the way you like it, isn’t it Billy? Why does she need brains when it’s not like she’ll ever be getting out of the kitchen anyway, right Billy? You don’t need to be Mensa material to know how to cook a good steak, do you Billy?

Baby Grand: Actually, no. On second thoughts, this one’s OK. If you want to hump your piano, Billy, that’s all you. I’m not going to judge.

You Look So Good To Me: This could have just been “You Look So Good”, but Billy doesn’t roll like that. Generally speaking, when someone looks good “to you” but not to anyone else, it’s because you’re drunk. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with getting drunk and having sex with someone that you otherwise wouldn’t go near, but writing a song saying “You’re only pretty when I’m on the piss” is going a bit far.

You’re My Home: “It always comes as a surprise when I feel my withered roots begin to grow.”

Look, Billy, this is supposed to be a romantic and heart-warming song. You can’t just slip in a quick allusion to boners and hope we’re not going to notice.

You May Be Right: You know, Billy, upon finding someone strapped to an electric chair, most people would have the common decency to let them out before “Telling them dirty jokes until they smile.”

That is, unless they’re a convicted criminal and an actual execution is taking place, but I think browsing Death Row for a girlfriend is scraping the barrel a little. That said, it would add a whole new depth to the line “It just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

Uptown Girl: BULLSHIT, BILLY. This is the kind of song you could have got away with writing at the start of your career, but you know what? When you’re bobsledding down slopes made of hundred dollar bills, you are no longer allowed to behave as though you’re some poor, working-class pleb trying to score with a rich woman.

We Didn’t Start The Fire: At this point, Billy, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you did.

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It makes me sad when artists whose work I enjoy turn out to be crazy, douchebags, or both.

George R. R. Martin is a fantasy author. He writes A Song of Ice and Fire, a really awesome low fantasy series. (Low fantasy being the cynical and gritty counterpart to idealistic and black-and-white high fantasy like Lord of the Rings.) Except that the man must hate his job, because the amount of actual writing he seems to do is minuscule. For the most recent book in the series, he apparently wrote so much that his publisher asked him to split it into two separate books. Okay, fine. So he said he'd release the first half, add a bit to the second half, and then release the second half as the next book in the series. That was three years ago. Still no second half. He's stopped even updating his website, claiming (in essence) that it's out when it's out and we should just shut the hell up and wait rather than bugging him. Oh, and when Bush was first elected, he took a year off "to mourn for the country". Asshole.

Also, Ben Stein. Ben Stein is awesome, right? Not so much: turns out that the guy is a militant biblical literalist. Like serious hardcore "teaching evolution in public schools is evil" sort of thing. Which makes me sad, because it de-awesomifies him entirely.

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On March 14th, powerhouse singers Elton John and Billy Joel will share the stage for another amazing combo concert.

billyjoel.jpg

The Face to Face tour has Elton and Billy playing duets, playing twin pianos, and trading vocals.

Now , how does this make you feel?

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Someone summarize op's post for me please!

1.Analysis/review/interpretation of snippets of Billy Joel material.

2.Conclusion: Billy Joel is a self-contradicting, selfish, <insert random insult>, dick. [/rage and frustration]

edit:jacked by Jovian. 2 quick 4 me ya know

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I have a love/hate relationship with Billy Joel (like I suspect Archaon does too, since he was able to provide this level of analysis). His lyrics and attitude are banal at best, and gross, sexist, or hypocritical at worst. Some of his songs are so past the point of good taste it's not even funny. But damn if the man can't turn any sentiment into a catchy tune, a top 40 hit, no less. In spite of all his flaws, I still love the guy's music.

You left out one of the best songs you can use to criticize him:

You're Only Human (Second Wind)

So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents

Than anything that you could ever learn at school

You probably don't want to hear advice from someone else

But I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't been there myself

So let me get this straight. You "didn't care what we said anymore, it was your life", but now you're telling us to listen to you?? GTFO. Bonus points for one of the worst videos ever crafted.

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I have a love/hate relationship with Billy Joel (like I suspect Archaon does too, since he was able to provide this level of analysis).

Not really, actually. My mother's a fan, though, so I ended up listening to him a lot on the car stereo when I was younger.

I'm not even especially familiar with him. I just happen to know some of his songs because of how often I heard them, and I thought it was mildly amusing that a big musician with such a long-lasting career happened to have wrote a song about how everyone would forget about him in a year or two.

That plus ten minutes in a word processor led to this.

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Damn it, mods, I've been looking for this bloody thing everywhere. A LITTLE HEADS UP WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE.

You know, I'm starting to think that if I wrote a thread about the potential application of the clarinet as an anal pleasuring device, it'd get moved in here in the grounds of being "about music".

Maybe some enterprising young forumite yearning for the glory days of UnMod could give that a go for me and see how it turns out.

EDIT: In response to Buttercup's request, all I can say is "What in god's name is a real estate novelist?" Nobody reads novels about real estate, Billy. Now you're just making shit up.

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I have a love/hate relationship with Billy Joel (like I suspect Archaon does too, since he was able to provide this level of analysis). His lyrics and attitude are banal at best, and gross, sexist, or hypocritical at worst. Some of his songs are so past the point of good taste it's not even funny. But damn if the man can't turn any sentiment into a catchy tune, a top 40 hit, no less. In spite of all his flaws, I still love the guy's music.

You left out one of the best songs you can use to criticize him:

You're Only Human (Second Wind)

So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents

Than anything that you could ever learn at school

You probably don't want to hear advice from someone else

But I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't been there myself

So let me get this straight. You "didn't care what we said anymore, it was your life", but now you're telling us to listen to you?? GTFO. Bonus points for one of the worst videos ever crafted.

You haven't seen shitty until you've seen Mike Oldfield in a music video.

I want to go to the GoodWill every time I see it.

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I never liked Billy Joel, just never liked his songs.

As far as jerks go, I get the feeling that Paul McCartney ranks up there, yeah, I know he's part of The Beatles, but I never really listened to that band, nor have ever really wanted to. Maybe I'll try to listen to them sometime...

Can I say the same thing of John Denver (being a jerk)?

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ELTON ALL THE WAY, AND YOU KNOW WHY????

HE'S NOT DUMB ENOUGH TO WRITE HIS OWN LYRICS AND SO WE HAVE NO IDEA IF HE IS AN ASSHOLE OR NOT! YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

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I don't hate Billy Joel like a lot of the folks in this thread do, but I do think he's interesting. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from rock writers about the man:

"The problem is that Joel never seemed cool, even among the people who like him. He's not cool in the conventional sense (like James Dean), or in the self-destructive sense (like Keith Richards), nor is he cool in the kitschy, campy, "he's so uncool he's cool" way (like Neil Diamond). He has no intrinsic coolness, and he has no extrinsic coolness. If cool were a color, it would be black--and Joel would be kind of a burnt orange. The bottom line is that it's never cool to look like you're trying...and Joel tries really, really hard."

-Chuck Klosterman

"If he wanted to be a humble tunesmith–a 'piano man' if you will–he would be a lot better off. But he's not content with that. He wants something grander. And that pretentious side infects not only his bad and mediocre work, but also his best work. […] He and Don Henley are really notable for how resentful they are about their lack of respect. You don't catch Celine Dion complaining about a lack of critical respect, and she's a lot worse than Billy Joel. But she doesn't care. Billy Joel cares deeply about that respect, and he wants it bad."

-Robert Christgau

"Back when Joel was regularly making albums guaranteed to produce at least three Top 10 singles–not to mention sleeping with Christie Brinkley every night–he would read his bad reviews on stage and angrily rip them to shreds in front of tens of thousands fans. Incredibly, even after he earned the affections of millions of people who slow danced to "Just The Way You Are" at their weddings and sang along with drunken strangers to "Piano Man," Joel felt unappreciated. He didn't get one of the most head-slappingly obvious facts of existence: Any artist, no matter how poorly regarded in critical circles, is way more important than any music writer."

-Steven Hyden

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Egads, he's a singer not a philosopher or a columnist. Why don't we crucify Sting next for writing "Every breath you take".

Art is often about intoxication, which is why we often appreciate songs that go with a particular feeling. Billy Joel's "Honesty" and "She's Always a Woman" both portray similar feelings but different outlooks--and both are feelings that a person is likely to have at some point in a relationship.

As to whether is is a dick though, it is probably better to look at his personal life than his songs. His behavior towards criticism is a good place to begin ripping into him.

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As to whether is is a dick though, it is probably better to look at his personal life than his songs. His behavior towards criticism is a good place to begin ripping into him.

Bollocks. Criticism is just another word for not having anything better to do with your life than transfer your aggression to the life's work of someone you have not and will not ever meet.

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