Billy Joel responds to Elton's 'rehab' comments
February 2nd, 2011
12:36 PM ET

Billy Joel responds to Elton's 'rehab' comments

Sir Elton John is not biting his tongue on what he really thinks about Billy Joel.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 63-year-old proud papa dishes out what he calls “tough love.”

"At the end of the day, he's coasting," John says in the interview. "I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum.”

According to John, it’s even affected their working relationship.

“We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism,” John says, going on to acknowledge that Joel perhaps won’t take kindly to such public displays of brusque affection.

“He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs,” John says. “I love you, Billy, and this is tough love. Billy, you have your demons and you're not going to get rid of them at rehab light. You've got to be serious. People adore you, they love you and respect you. You should be able to do something better than what you're doing now."

Joel, for his part, seems to be taking John's comments in stride. He told CNN in a statement, "I've worked with Elton for such a long time and I've enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him. Elton is just being Elton."


Filed under: Elton John • Music

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Will

    I am 13 years old and am a huge fan of both Elton John and billy Joel though a little more for billy Joel though and yes what Elton John did was the right thing I look up to billy Joel a lot I am a big singer and I love singing his music but what Elton should have done was get straight with billy and send him to rehab not go on the news and tell him Billy Joel was a tortured man in the 70s he tried to commit suicide because of his affair with his drummers wife and was saved by his drummer when he took him to the hospital billy does have an addiction and needs to get cured but Elton could have just told him lets not bother with Elton being gay here people

    January 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Loose Bowel

    Look at the pic of Elton. LOL...looks like he is sliding about a 10 inch NGGER C*CK up his dumpy rear-end. I bet his but has tasted my D*CKS than Robert Reeds.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack Cornhole

    Ya...eltons one to speak on addictions after years and years of smooching on weiners, swallowing manchowder and having his rear-end crammed full of as many sausages as possible. Yea elton its billy that has the problem.

    February 3, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. cah

    I wish I had friends like Elton, instead of confronting me about it, air it out in news interviews, classy.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TJ

    Don't hate on Sir John. Rush Limballs told him to say that.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. charddie

    So the guy gets drunk.... Why bother with rehab at that age? Just keep on partying.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robin brummett

    Been in recovery 4 3 an ahalf yrs. Go 2 rehah dude or u could die!!I almost did!!

    February 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. B=Dog

    Elton can't figure out that people want to hear the HITS and not new stuff??

    February 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. doc

    I don't drink JD to get drunk...I like the way it tastes.

    February 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. junior

    I know EJ personally and have always respected and loved him. He is an advocate for other artists. He is concerned for Billy and has the balls to speak up. He knows that bringing this to light may have an ultimate positive affect because Billy may have to address this. Alchoholism is more deadly than any other disease. Elton has been on tour countless times when he looked across and saw Billy asleep at the piano – during a duet! This is not a way to go on any longer and was humiliating to Elton. I feel Elton cares about his friend and knows that the embarrasment/reverb of these statements is way less damaging than the ultimate danger that Billy is putting himself in and others (ie drunk driving).

    February 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • cah

      Oh god, his music sucks and he is overly opinionated. Seems he should keep his mouth shut and not tour with Billy again.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • F. Lombardo

      Junior –
      You're full of crap. I've worked in the road crew for both of them since 1994 when they started touring together. No such thing ever happened. in fact Billy has been carrying Elton's boring show for YEARS. Just because something is spewed by a celebrity in an interview, that doesn't make it true. Elton's gripe with Billy is basically about money. Elton spends a LOT of it and Billy doesn't – therefore he doesn't have to work as often as Elton does. That is the simple reason for this whole sordid episode. Elton just threw Billy under a bus over M-O-N-E-Y.

      February 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. r

    Elton's right. Billy Joel does have a history of drinking too much. He's been driving while drunk too and didn't he crash his car more than once?

    February 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • druickd

      At last. A thoughtful response with no anger or puerile axe to grind. I totally agree with you. There has been quite a public history of problems and sometimes our true friends are the ones to let us know what others avoid saying: that we are in trouble and deserve to get help.

      February 2, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. billy graham

    Billy not letting Elton play with his wiene anymore and Elton upset.

    February 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Veritas

    Easy to sit back and criticize from a computer or cell phone.
    Whether or not you like Billy Joel's music has no bearing on Elton John's words, and it takes a friend to try to help another out of a dark hole. Climb down one, see which of your friends will be there...

    February 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. long island bob

    Who is he to talk? Put the fork down sir elton. How about your addiction to $? He would play for anyone who could afford to pay his fee. He'd play for hitler if he paid cash. Essentially all he's complaining about is his loss of revenue. This from a guy who was so broke at one point he had to sell part of his catalog. Shut up and sing.

    February 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. floor

    I know alcohol is not that good for us but sometimes it sure is a good stress reliever after work.

    February 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  16. floor

    esocially means especially in my part way sober hours. sorry.ns

    February 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. floor

    There is not anything wrong with alcohol. Esoecially vodka. I am sure he has enough money to never have to work again. If he enjoys liquid refreshments from time to time more power to him.

    February 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. you suck

    Why hang on to hope that these old farts will make good music again...they suck and should call it quits now.

    February 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Curt_DC

    I always prefer it when someone just "puts it out there" instead of sitting in silent judgement of others. So I'm in Elton's corner for speaking his truth.

    But I wonder why he has singled out this one fellow artist for his lack of recent work, when there are others who could be asked the same questions.

    George Michael?
    Barry Manilow?
    Neil Diamond?
    Linda Ronstadt?
    Steve Perry?
    Stevie Wonder?
    David Bowie?

    All of these artists are capable of doing brilliant, new work. Yet they have either slid into retirement, or are performing in small venues playing their hits from 20-30 years ago.

    February 2, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Tjp

    Interesting comments. When we were young we thought Sinatra sucked too. When you grow up you will understand billys music and also understand that the best written lyrics come from people with troubled lives like Billy & Elton. (save the childish retaliatory comments I won't be reading them)

    February 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. nighthhaaawk

    Hot Funk, Cool Punk..Even If it's old Junk,
    It's still Rock and Roll to me!

    February 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Billy Dont Be A Hero

    Maybe you all shouldnt worry about it. Billy has made plenty of $$$ over the years, how I dont know because his music bascially STINKS. Nonetheless enough idiots out there paid him so he now can do what he wants.

    February 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  23. suzy diamond

    Until Billy Joel get SERIOUS about his problem and leaves the city of "denial" he'll never get better! Maybe he hasn't hit bottom yet! I'll bet all is former wives think so!

    February 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Yugo

    We love you Billy – getting old sucks, it happens to all of us. Clean up and you'll be more productive and happier.

    February 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  25. babs

    What a load of BS! I'm a fat old lady and I detest Billy Joel's music. And Elton's. Oldness gives me music perspective all those wet behind the ears whiners will never have.Fatness gives me fatness.And being a lady means I'm smart. So.

    February 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  26. dan Gasby

    Hang in there Billy we known each other for over 10 years. I'm about to get a hip replacement and I know the day to day pain you have to endure. Can't wait to feel better. You've always been a stand up guy to me and my wife. I'm rooting for you because success is lonely and true friends are few and far between

    February 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  27. JR

    Billy needs to do what Charlie Sheen is doing. Charlie has hand picked the people that will be handling his recovery. We all know how important it is for the addict to remine in complete control.

    February 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Native on a Reservation

      Why is it everytime a star drinks or parties they have to goto rehab?

      People need to get over themselves.

      He has a problem why? Because Elton says so? Who the hell is he to judge. It's not like Joel is blowing up like Sheen or Lohan.

      The man has pressure few can relate too. I feel for you Billy, good job on the even handed response.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  28. LBW

    Elton is part of the gay mafia.

    February 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  29. *PUKE*

    Who cares...Joel has always been half-assed and WAAAAY over rated. The best thing he ever did was on glass houses some 30 years ago. Anything past the 70's has been crap.

    February 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  30. alumette

    Maybe Billy Joel is unhappy to be elderly. He married a young woman to get his youth back but it does not work that way. You can't fight time but integrate with it and get wise. Getting rid of the booze could be a good thing but evidently there are other issues no one can help him with. Good try Elton.

    February 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  31. druickd

    Mookoman. You sad little man. Straighten up and talk with some respect. You belittle yourself when you oped your mouth.

    February 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Mookooman

    I can only imagine why you oped your mouth. Do I see a swallow.

    February 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Mookooman

    And you spell drunk d r u n k not druick oil checker.

    February 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Yo daddy

    Nothing like hate speech to illuminate the conversation

    February 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Yo daddySUCK

    Shut up YOUphuckinNGGER.

    February 4, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |

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