Close to 400 fans and scholars attended “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” — a two-day conference on Billy Joel’s music and lyrics that was held at Colorado College over the weekend — to hear the presentation of nearly 30 academic papers written by musicologists and educators from as nearby as Denver and as far away as Africa. It was a Comic Con for beard-stroking music geeks, all set to a soundtrack of Mr. Joel’s greatest hits.
“I’m not really sure quite what to make of it, but I’m intrigued,” Mr. Joel said in an interview before the conference. He did not attend, but took part in a lively telephone Q. and A. with the symposium’s co-chairmen, Joshua Duchan and Ryan Bañagale, to close the event. “I’ve always thought music was better listened to than explained, but in this case,” Mr. Joel said, some of the presenters seem to “know my music better than I do. It’s a little intimidating.”
“I couldn’t objectively come up with the stuff you guys did, that’s for sure,” he said, to laughter. “I’m probably one of those artists who should be heard and not seen. So, I hope I was worth it.”
Top Photo: Joshua Duchan, left, and Ryan Bañagale conduct a live phone interview with Billy Joel. Courtesy of Colorado College
- * Colorado College To Host Scholarly Symposium On Billy Joel’s Music – August 18, 2016