It’s now been 25 years since River of Dreams, the album Billy Joel insisted would be his proper pop swan song. He’s pretty much kept his word, even as he admits the well isn’t completely dry: “I got new material right here; you just haven’t heard it,” he said.
In those 25 years, Joel has played Tampa more than he ever did back when he was still releasing new music. Is that really how he thought retirement would go?
“No, I actually thought I wouldn’t be really working at this point in my life,” he said. “I thought once you got to be, I think, 50, you gotta quit rock and roll; you’re too old for this thing. This is a kids’ job. But these other people kept pushing the envelope. The Stones kept going, McCartney kept going, Dylan kept going. The Eagles are still going. All these bands are still rocking out, and it’s, Wait a minute, so who says you gotta retire? This is what I do. I’ve come to understand that this is who I am. This is what I do. And it’s probably keeping me alive.”
… One thing he’s fairly certain about is that you won’t see him embarking on one big, final, farewell tour.
“You know what a farewell tour is? A farewell tour is just a way of getting people to buy tickets, because they don’t think they’re going to see you anymore. Then all these farewell tours go on for like five years. The Who have been on a farewell tour for like 30 years. So I think it’s pointless. If I’m going to stop, I’m just going to stop. But I don’t see that happening.”
Read more at the Tampa Bay Times.
Photo by Adi Talwar