11 August 2008
Billy Joel strikes back
'I had no idea when you interviewed me that you considered much of my later work to be `sentimental rubbish', or that you thought songs like "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire" were `abominations'. And your back-slapping, buddy-buddy style of conversation betrayed no indication that you actually compared talking with me to `sleeping with an inflatable girlfriend'.
"You didn't bring any of this up during the interview, and I certainly would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss those kinds of things, person to person. I believe that it's always best to be upfront with someone when you have strong opinions about their work or their image, simply as a gesture of respect, or if the respect isn't there, then purely as professionalism. Had I known you felt this way, I still would have done the bloody interview, but your comments reveal you to be already critically predisposed and somewhat insincere. You are still welcome to attend our concert in Auckland, but just as a safety precaution, please wear a hockey mask'
- (Purportedly) Billy Joel, responding to a NZ newspaper interviewer's snarky criticism, Sunday Star Times, 10 August 2008
[I tend to agree with Smithies re: Joel's later pop material, preferring his earlier more sophisticated songs from the 70s, but there was no need to be quite so rude about it. After all, even Bowie went pop in the 80s]