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More From Billy Joel’s Cornell University Q&A Lecture

The Cornell Daily Sun has written about Billy’s visit to Cornell University, which took place on December 2nd for an Evening of Questions & Answers. Here is an excerpt:

Taking the stage in a baseball cap, a Cornell sweatshirt and blue jeans, Joel set an informal tone to a night that played out more like a conversation with a remarkable relative at a Holiday party than a performance from one of the musical idols of our generation. He fielded some 20 questions from the audience and managed to squeeze key chapters of his life’s story – and his songbook – into the answers.

The anecdotes behind Joel’s lyrics cast some classic favorites in a new light.

Joel supported his music habit by playing Bar Mitzvahs, Sweet 16s and private parties in Long Island and New York City. He also pumped gas, installed landscaping, fished on an oyster boat in Long Island Sound, stamped typewriter ribbons in an inking factory and wrote – pause for air quotes – “rock criticism” for Changes Magazine. Joel’s respect and sympathy for commercial fishermen added a new dimension to the lyrics of “Downeaster Alexa,” and his mocking disdain for music criticism bolstered the meaning of “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.”