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How are you planning to spend your 65th birthday? Chances are, you’ll want to surround yourself with friends and family. You’ll want to celebrate your accomplishments and, once you get comfortable, it’s likely you’ll take a look back at your life. Billy Joel, it turns out, is no different — though he gets to have his party at Madison Square Garden, and his circle of admirers is a bit wider than average. It includes Howard Stern, who introduced him at the Friday night concert; Jimmy Fallon, who brought a barbershop quartet to serenade him; his eight-piece backing band, and thousands of devoted fans who, for two giddy hours, sang along to every chorus. – The Star-Ledger
“Welcome to my birthday party!” said Billy, who marveled at the fact that he still has what he calls “a great job” at 65. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer noted, “I’m supposed to retire at this age… or at least not have the name ‘Billy!'” The star then treated the crowd to two hours of his greatest hits, interspersed with a few rarely-played tracks. Among them was “Scandinavian Skies,” a cut from The Nylon Curtain album that Billy only recently revealed was inspired by the one and only time he took heroin. He said performing that little-known, extremely Beatlesque tune was his “birthday indulgence,” and when he’d finished, he grinned and said, “I like that one. It’s kinda sick, but I like it.” – ABC News Radio
Joel showed no sign of getting ready for retirement at this show, repeatedly saying how much he loved his job and how thankful he was that he could keep doing it. Throughout the two-hour show, Joel doled out some presents, including turning the show into a benefit for the North Shore Animal League’s Bianca’s Furry Friends campaign being spearheaded by his friends Howard and Beth Stern to expand the group’s Port Washington headquarters. For Joel’s donation, Stern dubbed him “Saint Billy,” the new patron saint of animals, while stars like Sting, Paul Rudd and Judd Apatow looked on. Jimmy Fallon made a surprise appearance, doing an a capella version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with Joel and then a ragtime-reggae version of “Sweat” with his barber shop quartet the Ragtime Gals. – Newsday
Billy Joel Set List – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – May 9, 2014
Billy Joel – Happy Birthday, My Life & Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) [Madison Square Garden – May 9, 2014]
Fan video by TANGORONYAN
Photos by Kevin Mazur