When rock legend Billy Joel and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joined forces at Madison Square Garden this morning, the world's most famous venue made a thrilling revelation for fans of timeless rock and New York City. Not only is Billy Joel playing one show a month for the first five months of 2014, but the singer-songwriter genius will play Madison Square Garden every month for as long as there is demand. And given Joel's record of 12 consecutive sold-out concerts at the Garden, that could be a very long time.
This partnership is more than just a run of shows, however. Billy Joel is joining the ranks of the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty as MSG's fourth franchise. Entitled "Billy Joel at the Garden," this is MSG's first-ever non-athletic franchise. "The Garden is the sports and entertainment soul of this state," Governor Cuomo said at the press conference. "So it's fitting that a New York icon joins another New York icon."
MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan put it another way: "Having Billy Joel as a musical franchise at the Garden feels like having the Pope as your parish priest."
When Billy Joel himself took the podium, he alluded to the praise that everyone from the governor to Garden executives had just been heaping on him. "I'm getting a lot of credit for how good I'm supposed to be, but a lot of credit goes to the audience," Joel said. "If you have a great audience you get a better show. We feed off each other. And there's no better venue in the world."
In addition to Joel's four previously-announced shows, MSG revealed Joel will take the stage on May 9, his 65th birthday, for his 51st show at the Garden. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am ET on December 7, with additional 2014 dates at MSG to be announced in the future.
In the meantime, listen to Billy Joel reminisce about his hilarious/terrifying trip to the Garden as a three-year-old boy in this exclusive Fuse interview.