Billy Joel Sets the Record Straight about the Soviet Union

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My colleague Mike Seely over at the Seattle Weekly just talked to Billy Joel. Which is cool enough. But why?

Well, as that blog post says, Mr. Joel is in Seattle for a show -- and the following transpired:

In her preview of Billy Joel's Thursday night show at KeyArena in this week's Wire, Erika Hobart recounts a well-trod story, first reported in the New York Times, of Billy Joel throwing a total shitfit onstage in the Soviet Union in 1987, overturning his piano after bright lights flooded the audience and declaring: "It's my show!" Hobart's writeup gives the impression that Joel was upset with audience members, whom he compared to "an oil painting in this corner of the room."

Well, it turns out Billy Joel is already in town — and he reads the Weekly. How do we know this? Because we just returned a call to a downtown hotel that shall remain nameless, where Joel is staying under a clever pseudonym that shall remain nameless. Joel wanted to set the record straight about that night in Moscow.

To find out what really happened, check out the blog link. And here's "We Didn't Start the Fire," mainly because YouTube won't let us embed most Billy videos. What's up with that?

-- Annie Zaleski

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