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“I’m kind of putting my toe back in the water and seeing how it feels. We’re going to be doing stuff we haven’t done for years and years and years. So I’m looking forward to seeing how this stuff flies.”

 

Billy Joel

“I look at some of the songs I wrote years ago and I can’t believe I wrote such crap.”

 

Billy Joel

“Some of the stuff I’m writing is almost like hymns, some of my first singing and choral experiences were in church, the Church of Christ in Hicksville.”

 

Billy Joel

“I was listening to stuff and I realized that I’ve had a lot of different lives. You know the theory [that says] every seven years, you have a different life? I think that’s true.”

 

Billy Joel

“Move to California – my first impression of the Wild West.”

 

Billy Joel

“I would say the songs that have different lyrics. I always write the music first, and there’s a couple of songs on this box set that have different lyrics from what ended up on the final recording.”

 

Billy Joel

“I was thinking of the Four Seasons, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and when I was thinking “Uptown Girl!” I was trying to sing like Frankie Valli. They had a song called “Ragdoll,” which was about a poor girl and a rich guy. So I just flipped it around and made it about a rich girl and a poor guy.”

 

Billy Joel

“I always thought of myself as the piano player in the band. That, I suppose, I’m confident about, and I guess my songwriting developed as I went along and I got a certain amount of confidence in that. The songs are like my kids, I’m proud of all of them for one reason or another.”

 

Billy Joel

“I’ve always said about 50% of what happens at a concert has to do with the audience. If you play for a dead audience you’re gonna stink. If we play for a great crowd we’re much better. You want ’em to make noise. It’s kinda like sex, if they don’t make noise, you ain’t doin’ it right.”

 

Billy Joel

“I started just concentrating on songwriting when I was abut 20; I’d been in rock bands six or seven years, kinda got that out of my system, I said, “ok, you ain’t gonna be a rock star, you don’t look like a rock star, it probably ain’t gonna happen. So what you should do is write songs and maybe other people will do your songs.””

 

Billy Joel

“I’m writing new music all the time. I’m just not writing pop stuff. It’s not my goal.”

 

Billy Joel

“If you’re a very unfulfilled person you might have a tendency to turn to crime.”

 

Billy Joel

“I never stopped writing music, I just stopped writing songs. I’ve been writing music continually ever since the last album of original tunes, “River Of Dreams” in ’93.”

 

Billy Joel

“One of the last times that we played in the area before I wrote “Allentown,” I remember a guy coming up to us and saying, “You’re never coming back here.” I said, “Why do you say that?” He said, “Well, you’re probably gonna become a big star. Nobody who ever becomes big comes back here.” And I felt so sad for this kid, he seemed so bitter about it. I said, “Well, I’m coming back, no matter what.””

 

Billy Joel

“I’m a piano player. I never thought of myself as a singer, at all. I was always trying to sound like somebody else. I don’t like my own voice, I like Ray Charles, Robert Plant, I like Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, people that have an edge in their voice.”

 

Billy Joel

“I run into people from the Lehigh Valley and Allentown all over the world, and they’re obviously doing pretty well. They say, “Oh, it’s pretty nice there now and there’s a lot of new businesses that have come into the area.” Nobody’s telling me, “Yeah, I left.” Everybody says, “You know, I’m there. It’s great. It’s really nice there, and you made our town famous.””

 

Billy Joel

“I always wrote the music first, and the music gave me the mood and the lyrics were pretty much put in to give you a map, where that mood came from and where it’s going. But my first love was really the music itself, and I guess I’ve gone back to that.”

 

Billy Joel

“I had a melody and a rhythm and chords, but nothing to talk about. I remember reading about how the decline of the steel industry had been affecting the Lehigh Valley, and I decided that’s what I was going to write the song about.”

 

Billy Joel

“Musicians know all about unemployment. You’re unemployed a lot, and I think there’s a great deal of empathy between musicians and people who are out of work.”

 

Billy Joel