Elton John Hits Sour Note with Struggling Piano Man
Billy Joel's years-long substance abuse battles are well-known, but one of the musician's closest friends is speaking out about his reticence to get the help he really needs. In a provocative interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Elton John delves into his feelings about his friend and tourmate. Or should we say, former friend...Joel will be none too happy when he reads the digs about his performances and previous rehab efforts, which John says weren't serious. "He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs. I love you, Billy, and this is tough love," the Rocket Man says. He goes there and just keeps going about his friend's choice to opt for a bottle of red and a bottle of white. "At the end of the day, he's coasting," John said of Joel. "I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum. We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism." Elton John also dishes on some of his more unlikely friendships with people like Rush Limbaugh and Eminem in the interview. The rapper gave John and his partner David Furnish lavish, diamond-encrusted sex toys to commemorate their partnership. And conservative Republican blowhard Limbaugh had John play at his wedding reception. "I could not believe when I was asked to play. I thought it was a joke. I had dialogue with him before and he said, 'I'm not anti-gay; I want you to come, bring David.' My goal is for Rush to say, 'I support civil partnerships,' and if I rang him right now, I think he might agree. He was one of the first people to congratulate us on the baby." Access Hollywood reports that Joel is still in a New York state of mind and wasn't fazed by Elton's comments: "I've worked with Elton for such a long time and I've enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him," Joel told Access. "Elton is just being Elton."