Last Play at Shea

I watched a documentary on Showtime called Last Play at Shea. Its focus was the final performance at Shea Stadium by Billy Joel and many others including Paul McCartney, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler, John Mayer, etc. before it was torn down. They reviewed the Beatles performance in 1965, the legendary Bill Buckner error, and some history behind the Mets. The main focus though was on the career of Billy Joel and his performance on that night.

I found it particularly fascinating because, in most circles, Billy Joel isn’t known as one of music’s elites. I think it’s because he plays the piano instead of a guitar. Elton John is the same way. He also made some poor management choices (including hiring his wife to manage business) which cost him millions of dollars and the feeling of betrayal among long time friends. Perfect inspiration for songs. Another odd thing about his career is that he hasn’t created an album in 19 years and most of this “good” songs were done early in his life. He has battled depression and alcoholism throughout his life. I believe I should have had him on this list. This article helps document his past driving incidents which I’m sure happened when he was sober.

I’m actually a huge Billy Joel fan no matter what the clowns at the Rolling Stone think. I find his songs relate to real world, human being problems. His songs speak about what he’s going through in his own personal life and that easily translates to your life. I also find it boggling how little respect he gets on Spotify’s popularity meter. I’m going to detail one particular song but a few of my favorites are “Angry Young Man“, “This is the Time“, “New York State of Mind“, and “Zanzibar.”

The song that feels the most truthful though is Honesty. “Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue.” Joel sings this about a relationship with a woman but I feel like it pertains to the entire world. There are some (an extremely small percentage) people in this world who are your actual friends, the rest (everyone else) are only out for personal interest. You are on your own. People will not help you out. If you don’t do it yourself, someone will fuck you. There is very little honesty left.