Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Billy Envy

(Dallas) My son is in Nashville this evening, learning to live the life of an influential member of the Media. He’s attending the Billy Joel concert there as the guest of a friend.
He sent me a text-message with this image attached, the caption: “Wish You Were Here.”


Let me think about that for a moment.

He’s in Nash-Vegas with a couple of thousand of his closest friends, enjoying lukewarm concessionaire pizza and watered-down fountain sodas, getting a second-hand buzz from the ambience in that stadium, no doubt.
And he’s seeing Billy freaking Joel.

Billy Joel is still performing.
He’s got to be older than dirt…although, not as old as Tony Bennett, who’s older than granite. But they’re both still going strong.

The last time I saw Billy Joel perform in person, he finished playing a piece, got up from his piano stool, and came to the front of the stage, where he sat on the edge, his feet dangling over, to greet the audience.

Some ill-behaved troglodyte slipped between the security goons, and wrested one of the performer’s (then) trademark black and white sneakers from his foot, and ran off with it. Billy Joel was so outraged, he stalked off the stage, and refused to play another note.
Can’t say as I blame him.

Billy Joel recently sang the National Anthem at the Superbowl. It wasn’t his best performance, and in a business that judges you on your most recent performance, it’s probably good that he’s booked out tour for a while, to redeem himself musically.
As if.

So my kiddo’s in the middle of this sea of humanity, soaking up the cool vibe from Billy Joel. Snapping brag-shots on his cell phone, and launching them off into cyberspace for the rest of us to covet.
Wish you were here, indeed.

I’m sitting in a hotel room off the N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas…eating lukewarm pizza and watered-down Dr. Pepper in a hotel room glass…listening to Billy Joel on my iPod.
This is the cell phone photo I texted back to my boy.

Wish you were here, indeed.

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