BIG Music News: Billy Joel, Journey

BILLY JOEL:  Speaks out about the downside of being a celebrity and much more

He's playing stadiums across the country, but Billy Joel says he really isn't touring.

He tells the Los Angeles Times, "Touring is when you go out and you stay out... You miss your family; it goes on and on and on and on. Now I play and then I go home. It’s a pussycat schedule. I know what touring is, and this ain’t it."

Chatting with reporters before his recent gig at Atlanta's new ballpark, he touched on a variety of topics:

President Trump, whose Mar-a-Lago resort isn't far from his Florida home: After a silent "middle finger salute," the Piano Man quips, "He thinks I’m his friend. I went to his wedding. I don’t know why I went. I’m told I sang — probably made an ass of myself."Meeting Frank Sinatra's entourage in an Italian restaurant in L.A.: "There’s Sinatra, four tables away, with all the goons around him. I’d just written 'New York State of Mind.' So I’m sitting at the table going, [sings] 'Some folks like to get away…' And this guy’s staring me down: 'Get the [expletive] out of here, kid.' But I got to meet him after that anyway. He covered 'Just the Way You Are.'"On the downside of celebrity: "Nobody’s prepared for it — people looking into your private life, gossip columns writing about you, people saying things that are hurtful about your family... I was like, 'I don’t like this — I want to become a little more private.' But how do you take it back? You can’t."

While still uninterested in doing another pop album, Billy hints at a potential collaboration with a major pop star, but didn't offer details.

JOURNEY:  No drama here

Journey drummer Steve Smith says there was no drama to Steve Perry's decision not to sing with the band at its induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.

Speaking to the Las Vegas Weekly, Smith says, "There's really not much of a story there. We asked him if he wanted to sing, and he declined. He said no, but that he would be there."

Smith says "it was great" to see Perry again. "It had been since 2005, when we got a star in Hollywood — that was the last time I saw him." Smith praises his Rock Hall speech, calling it "beautiful. He acknowledged [current vocalist] Arnel Pineda, which was really a beautiful moment. It really makes it clear that he's passing the torch to Arnel — he's the lead singer in Journey, and he's doing an amazing job. He's a tremendous singer and a really compelling frontman."

Journey is currently in Sin City doing a residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino through May 20th.

An exhibit of Smith's artwork, The Fabric of Rhythm, is currently on display at The Gallery of Music & Art in Las Vegas through May 31st.

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