Contradicting two earlier rounds of stories in Chicago newspapers and the concert industry trade press, piano man Billy Joel told Rolling Stone.com 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.