Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Billy Joel: "There was never a tour booked this summer!"

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Contradicting two earlier rounds of stories in Chicago newspapers and the concert industry trade press, piano man Billy Joel told Rolling that he never canceled a concert this summer at Wrigley Field with tour partner Elton John because there never was a tour planned this summer to stop at Wrigley Field or anywhere else.

"Obviously, this has the smell of a really juicy story: 'Why did they cancel? Did Billy and Elton have a fight? What's going on?'" Joel told the online arm of Rolling Stone magazine. "The truth is, there's nothing going on. I had made up my mind a long time ago that I wasn't going to work this year."

Based on comments by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and the fact that the Chicago City Council approved an ordinance setting aside July 7 and Sept. 17 and 18 for concerts at Wrigley this summer, the Sun Times reported in early February that Elton and Billy and the Dave Matthews Band were expected to fill those dates.

Last week, John told Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones that Joel "has decided to take a year off. It doesn't gel with my plans but he's a friend. And as an artist you have to respect his decision."

Joel added during his chat with Rolling Stone that he has had a tough year so far.

"There was an incident with my daughter that was very shocking. [Daughter Alexea attempted suicide. I got divorced. I worked a lot. I promised myself more personal time this year. I'm going to Italy, and I'll probably go to Paris. I'll probably take my boat to New England and hang out on the coast. I'll ride my motorcycle. I'll just be a bum."

Other acts rumored to be playing Wrigley in place of Billy and Elton include Phish and Paul McCartney, but no performers have been confirmed.

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I heart billy joel and elton john and paul mccartney.

Dear Chicago Sun Times -

If by some stroke of luck Phish does play Wrigley this Summer, I urge you to invite a real fan like Scott Bernstein of Hidden Track or Dave Calarco of Phish Thoughts to write the review of the show. 

Unless of course you want an uniformed and stereotype-laden review that's saddled by preconceptions. Then just ask Mr. DeRogatis.

Todd Levy   

Dear Todd Levy -

If critics reviewed their subjects as fans, rather than as the dispassionate voices they are paid to be, all reviews would be glowing (you know, like the ones in Rolling Stone). If you want to read reviews like that, go to the Phish message boards -- or just read whatever you want on Jamtopia (also known as Fox News for jam band fans).

Furthermore, if by some stroke of luck Phish does play Wrigley this summer, I urge you to read the review of a real critic, rather than somebody writing for a fanzine. Unless, of course, you simply want to exist in an echo chamber, never hearing a bad word about Phish (which, by the way, is one of the least-interesting and least-engaging bands in a genre that is full of uninteresting and unengaging bands).

Brendan Diamond

Dear Brendan Diamond and Toddy Levy,

As a review by a fan will always be slanted, a naysayer's opinion will display proclivity in the opposite direction. The pundit who reviews the possible upcoming Phish show should be someone who appreciates music, of all different genres; a critic who doesn't watch and listen to the performance with preconceived notions of affection or animosity, rather someone with acumen for dissecting a musical score.

Sincerely yours,

Unbiased Observer

Dear Brendan,

You make a fair point, but what I'm hoping for is a well-written and well-informed review -- positive or otherwise.

> Jamtopia (also known as Fox News for jam band fans)

If only I had their reach :)


P.S. Unbias O, you are clearly the most articulate person on PhantasyTour.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on February 26, 2010 5:22 PM.

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