Piano Whore

« June 2004 »

Have I mentioned that I hate Billy Joel?

Apart from repeatedly running his car into shit and not dying, Billy Joel has not done anything in particular recently to reignite my hate. But, as I may have mentioned before, the dismal state of Twin Cities radio forces me to wake up to an awful 80's oldies radio station*. And on that station, they feature the two most hatable songs in Billy Joel's entire repertoire. So just about every time I start to forget that I hate Billy Joel, they'll play "It's Still Rock & Roll To Me" between 6:50AM and 7:10AM, and my hate will rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Do you know why so many musicians die of car crashes, plane crashes, and drug overdoses? It's so they DON'T END UP LIKE BILLY JOEL. Bald and pudgy and feeding of his own past with a friggin Broadway musical based around his greatest hits. You think that's where Kurt Cobain wanted to be when he was 55? At a party for the Tony-award-winning "Entertain Us!"? Me neither.

"It's Still Rock & Roll To Me" is easily on my top five list of all-time most hatable songs. "We Built This City", of course, stands at #1. Every song Rod Stewart has ever recorded, performed, or sung in the shower combine into one giant song that sits squarely at #2. "It's Still..." comes in at #3, because even in my list, it defines mediocrity. The song from the Chicken Dance is at #4, and, of course, Creed's "My Sacrifice" brings up the rear. If you encounter any of these songs, do not try to apprehend them yourself. Seek the proper authorities for containment and hazmat disposal.

"It's Still..." was embarrassing at the time. It's an old fart bitching about new trends and desperately trying to maintain his own personal relevance. And 24 years later, it's some hideous, shambling, genetic freak of a song full of barely coherent outdated references. And that's on top of just generally being an annoying piece of shit song.

I hate "Only The Good Die Young", too, but I hate people enjoying it more. You would think, first of all, that once the guy hit 50, he'd have the common decency to disavow the song for obvious reasons. And everyone could nod their heads, stop playing it, pretend it never happened, and move on. But nooooooo. People keep singing along with it like it's some great rebellious statement.

I'm going to explain this to you all just this once. Since 1977, we, as a a species, have made any number of musical statements about rebellion. And with a few notable exceptions, most by Limp Bizkit, every single one of them is more compelling than "if you abandon your religion, you get to have SEX WITH BILLY JOEL". Got it? You'd be better belting out "Cum On Feel The Noize".

To this day, I firmly believe that my youthful purchase of the "An Innocent Man" cassette tape was a revelatory act of self-hatred. Since then, of course, I've grown and matured as a person, and learned to re-direct that hate outward to all of you, where it belongs.

Astute readers may notice a gaping hole in the center of the Joelhate. As if Billy Joel had, during the late 90's, produced a work of such mind-staggering banality that the entire world now treats it like a suppressed memory of childhood abuse. Unlike the naive young archaeologist or scientist at the beginning of every half-assed sci-fi/horror movie ever, You Are Dumb Dot Net believes in letting ancient buried evil stay buried, and thus does not officially acknowledge the existence of any such work.

* Face it. 80's stations are oldies stations. When we were growing up in the 80's**, there were stations that were playing music from the 60's, and those stations were called "oldies stations". That establishes a firm 15-25 year age range for "oldies" which I am sticking to even if Clear Channel isn't.

** Yes, I automatically assume that anyone reading this column is the exact same age I am, why do you ask?