A random thought on Billy Joel…
I listened to so much Billy Joel as a tween and teen that one could almost say he was something of a father figure for me (hey, don’t judge). One of his songs just came up on my shuffle, inspiring me to check in BillyJoel.com, which I haven’t visited in years. With a few exceptions, the photos reinforce an impression I’ve had since first watching the video of his millennium concert decades ago: he just never seems happy. With some exceptions, the smile never seems to reach his eyes, as the saying goes.
I say this believing myself still to be in tune with his professional persona. In interviews from the ’80s and ’90s, I completely got his somewhat cynical and sarcastic Tri-State Area sense of humor. But somewhere around the year 2000, the down-to-Earth-getting-what-a-lark-this-all-is star thing shifted to a guy-who-reached-the-top-and-didn’t-find-something thing.
Maybe that’s why he hasn’t really done any original work since his classical album in 2001.