Singer Patty Smyth dropped in at Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden concert in New York City Monday night to perform one of her biggest hits, “Goodbye to You” — as an image of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon flashed on the screen above her.
Concert-goers took to Twitter to document the moment, as the former Scandal singer belted out her 1984 hit as a montage of former White House staffers, including Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer, and former communications director Anthony Scaramucci played on the background screen.
— Page Six Emily (@PageSixEmily) August 22, 2017
Billy Joel brought Patty Smyth on stage for "Goodbye to You" at MSG and had a montage featuring Spicer, Mooch, Bannon, etc.
— Matt Eisenberg (@matteisenberg42) August 22, 2017
— Daryl Robin (@DRob501) August 22, 2017
— John Quaglione (@JQuaglione) August 22, 2017
The surprise performance from Smyth came as Joel continued his monthly residency at Madison Square Garden, where he officially became the “fourth franchise” at the iconic New York City arena in 2014.
The “Piano Man” singer — who has performed at the Garden more than 80 times in his decades-long career — has said that he tries to stay out of politics, and that his first job is as an entertainer.
“I try to stay out of politics. I am a private citizen and I have a right to believe in my own political point of view, but I try not to get up on a soapbox and tell people how to think,” Joel told Rolling Stone this year.
“I’ve been to shows where people start haranguing the audience about what’s going on politically and I’m thinking, ‘You know, this isn’t why I came here,’” the singer continued. “As a matter of fact, one of the biggest cheers of the night comes when we do ‘Piano Man’ and I sing, ‘They know that it’s me that they’re coming to see to forget about life for a while,’ and the audience lets out this huge ‘ahhhh’ and I say, ‘OK, yeah, don’t forget that.’”
Smyth, who is married to tennis great John McEnroe, rarely speaks about politics on her social media accounts. The day after the election, she tweeted simply: “What the hell just happened?”
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum