Music legend Billy Joel just marked his 100th lifetime sold-out performance at New York's famed Madison Square Garden, and he doesn't see an end to the run, he tells correspondent Anthony Mason in an interview to be broadcast on CBS' "Sunday Morning" July 22.
"Yeah, I'm still trying to get my head around it," Joel said of his 100th MSG concert this past Wednesday, and his continuing residency of monthly shows at the venue. (Since January 2014, Joel has played the Garden once a month.)
"The tickets are selling faster now going into our fifth year than they were when we started. So, it looks like there's no end to this thing. I may be doing this for the rest of my natural life!"
In a wide-ranging interview, Joel also talks with Mason about his thoughts on playing the Garden and what fans expect from his performances; how the idea of the residency emerged following his performance at the 12-12-12 Concert to support Hurricane Sandy relief; and his ongoing battle with music critics.
Joel played his first-ever show at the Garden in December of 1978, a year after he had broken out with his fifth album, "The Stranger."
Yet, despite his success with record sales, some music critics have not looked on his work favorably. "A lot of the beating up was self-induced because I went to war with these guys," Joel said. "You know, if I didn't agree with something they wrote, I would call 'em out on stage. And that doesn't help things."
Why did he do that? Because, he says, the critics were wrong. "Sometimes you gotta fight for what's right," he explained.
He's had 33 Top 40 hits in his career, but after his "River of Dreams" album in 1993, he stopped writing songs. "I couldn't be as good as I wanted to be. It was driving me crazy. And it was a wreck on my personal life, too. Just not being able to be satisfied or content with what I was doing," Joel said. "And drinking became a problem because of that."
Joel also said he wanted a personal life, and noted he'd been married and divorced a couple of times.
"There's a quote from Neil Diamond that I related to a great deal," Joel tells Mason. "He said, 'I've forgiven myself for not being Beethoven.' And I read that quote and I said, 'That's my problem. I have not forgiven myself for not being Beethoven.'
"And still to this day, I haven't."
The Emmy Award-winning program, hosted by Jane Pauley, is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison.
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