Sunday, December 28, 2014

Billy Joel – "My Life" (1978)

I don't care what you say anymore
This is my life
Go ahead with your own life
Leave me alone

Jack White said much the same thing – albeit in fewer words – in "Entitlement," which 2 or 3 lines featured earlier this year:

I'm tired
Of being told
What to do

I don't mean to be difficult – that is to say, an a**hole.  But some of you – that is to say, some of you women – just don't get it.  (By "some," I mean "most.")

A female friend of mine had this to say about the new Swedish movie, Force Majeure:  "It asks the question, 'Why is the male ego so fragile?'"

From Force Majeure
Actually, Force Majeure asks this question, "Why do so many women insist on being emasculating harpies?"

I never considered featuring a Billy Joel song on 2 or 3 lines until I read Nick Paumgarten's very good profile of the singer/songwriter in the October 27 New Yorker.

Paumgarten had this to say about "My Life," which was released on Joel's Grammy-winning 1978 album, 52nd Street:

The song's peppy electric piano . . . disguises a sentiment that is at the core of Joel's outlook on his place in the world.  When he plays "My Life" in concert, it can seem rote, but the anger at the heart of it, misplaced or not, gives it a pulse.

Joel cranked out 33 top 40 hits in his career -- many more than Bruce Springsteen, or the Eagles, or Fleetwood Mac.  (He had three #1 singles and four #3 singles – one of which was "My Life" – but no #2 singles.)  But he was never liked by the critics.  

A very young Billy Joel
Rock critic and producer Jon Landau attributed the critical disapproval to "a bias against hits."  Landau said he originally found Joel's music "too glib and slick," but he changed his tune:  

As time has gone by, we've been proved wrong.  He's one of the most musically astute composers of that era.

Billy Joel today
Billy Joel was a particular favorite of my old friend, Scott Klurfeld, who like Joel was a Long Island boy.  I think Scott's favorite Billy Joel song was "Only the Good Die Young." 

As fate would have it, Scott – one of the most good-hearted people I knew -- and his wife Janis lost their lives in an automobile accident in 2000.

Lindsay Lohan has a Billy Joel
song lyric tattooed on her ribcage
Lindsay Lohan, a longtime Billy Joel fan, tweeted this after the 2010 death of her uncle:

Did Billy Joel curse us when he said, "Only the GOOD die young"?

Here's "My Life":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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