When Elton John said Billy Joel isn’t dealing with his drinking problem, the (American) Piano Man responded “”I’ve enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him. Elton is just being Elton.” But in an interview with Today, Elton suggested Joel isn’t taking the “tough love” so well. “He hates me at the moment,” Elton revealed. “He sent me a message and he’s not happy. I understand that. I’m sorry I had to say it, but I’m saying it because I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy. That’s all it came from. I understand why he’s mad at me. I’m only trying to help. Maybe I should have done it privately, but I’ve been so frustrated over the years.” Touring partners since the mid-90′s, more than a few of their dates were canceled over the years due to Joel’s problems with alcohol.
Despite his obvious sadness, John refuses to retract his statements about Joel’s lack of commitment to rehab. “He’s going to hate me, he’s not going to talk to me but it comes from a place of love: you don’t take your dog to rehab, ok? You just go in there and try to listen. I’m sorry I had to say it, but I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy…he may want to punch my face in at the moment, but it’s OK.” Do you think Elton’s right to make such a public display of concern? Will it help Billy or just ostracize him further?
[Photo: Getty Images]