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What began well won't end well
2008-02-10 12:26
by Bob Timmermann

Back on August 15, 1965, the Beatles became the first musical performers to hold a concert at Shea Stadium.

It was no small affair and it was one of the first times (some say it was the first, but I'm not inclined to verify that fact) a rock group had played in a stadium of that size. A crowd of over 55,000 attended. But it ushered in an era of concerts where lots of people attended and sat in places where they could see or hear little of what was being played.

A 10-minute video of parts of the concert is below:

And who will be the last musical act to play Shea Stadium? Billy Joel.


2008-02-10 12:53:26
1.   Chyll Will
Yeah, 50 Cent & G-Unit were originated not that far away (Jamaica, Queens); I can't imagine why they weren't in the running... >;)
2008-02-10 13:49:28
2.   DXMachina
"From a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island
Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand
And his daring life of crime
Made him a legend in his time
East and west of the Rio Grande..."

Joel did one of the best concerts I've ever been to. I still have the poster. Of course, it was in 1978...

2008-02-10 14:53:22
3.   Linkmeister
I really never have associated Billy Joel with arena rock.
2008-02-10 15:31:10
4.   Bob Timmermann
I've never associated Billy Joel with talent.
2008-02-10 15:43:08
5.   mehmattski
I'd rather listen to several Billy Joel albums (The Stranger, Turnstiles, Glass Houses) than listen to any album in multiple entire genres (Grunge, Emo, most Punk, Pop). It's a New York thing.

Of course, he's aged very quickly since 2000. He won't put on the world's best show. But it's better than any teeny-bop lip-syncher, that's for sure.

2008-02-10 16:30:59
6.   Elliot
Not only is he a warbler who can't perform anymore, he's a friggin Yankee fan. And he's closing down Shea? Couldn't we get Bruce? Or U2, who I dislike but at least they're non-baseball-partisan and will fill the Stadium? Or, heaven forfend, Paul McCartney?
2008-02-10 16:54:30
7.   Eric Stephen
I'll cross "The Stranger" off my gift list for the next DT gathering, lest I draw Bob's name.
2008-02-10 16:54:53
8.   Bob Timmermann
Billy Joel is the living embodiment of "Only the Good Die Young."
2008-02-10 16:57:54
9.   D4P
Billy Joel is a good example of a songwriter who writes songs early in life that they will be unlikely to be able to sing later in life.

My friend and I saw Billy Joel in Portland sometime around 97-8 or so during what what billed as his final rock tour. He was gonna retire from rock touring and write classical piano music instead.

He composed one album's worth of classical music and then went back on tour.

2008-02-10 17:04:32
10.   D4P
PS: His classical album is actually quite impressive from the standpoint of composing complex music.
2008-02-10 18:35:02
11.   grandcosmo
I'm surprised he hasn't been booked to be the halftime entertainment at the next Super Bowl yet.
2008-02-10 18:50:52
12.   vockins
8 Salut.

11 His composition "Amplifier Fire (Part I- Godzilla, Part II-March of the Huns)" from the Attila record is quite impressive from the standpoint of being the most unintentionally hilarious artistic endeavor I have ever experienced.

2008-02-10 22:58:10
13.   GoBears
Woah, Bob. I have no problem with the notion that Billy Joel's music is not to your taste. And I'll grant that he's way-ay-ay past his prime, especially on stage. But I think it's absurd to say the guy was untalented. You may think he used his talents for evil, and not good, but the man was a talented and prolific songwriter.

I don't think I've ever disagreed with you. Well there's the pitted-fruits thing, but, as with music, there's no accounting for taste.

2008-02-12 10:20:46
14.   Cliff Corcoran
12 I question the "unintentional" aspect of that. Joel has a good sense of humor and, while the music may have been semi-serious in intent (at best), I somewhat doubt that the entire Attila concept (along with the wonderful album cover and song titles) were meant as such. Then again, Joel's first solo record was painfully serious for the most part. So maybe you're right.

I saw the Attila album in the racks of a used record shop once and to this day I regret not buying it for the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

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