Thursday, January 17, 2013

That Won't Happen to Us

By 1986, I'd already given up on Billy Joel. From my point of view it'd been pretty much downhill since The Stranger became a phenomenon, although I always had a soft spot for the live record Songs In The Attic, which highlighted his pre-Stranger material in lively arrangements. But by '86, Billy in my opinion had already gone soft, dating a famous supermodel, clawing to the contemporary on the strength of duets with 80s phenomena like Cyndi Lauper and, somehow, Ray Charles. Years later I'd similarly hate Billy Joel for trying to claim Shea Stadium as a part of his legacy despite my strong suspicions that he and most of his fans including the Long Island ones, are Yankee fans. They would approve of Cyndi Lapuer duets and 'Uptown Girl.' It didn't require any imagination.

But the DIMT is all about reconsideration. I'd been formulating a piece in praise of the TURNSTILES album but recently while filling the tank at a Wawa in Bel Air, Maryland, Joel's 1986 single 'A Matter of Trust' blasted across the gas bar. My reaction was not unlike the passerby in the below video. I'm pumping gas in January, trying to stay warm, and... godamnit, I'm dancing. Damn you Billy Joel.

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