Billy Joel celebrated his 65th birthday this week with a Q & A session moderated by radio host Howard Stern and sidekick Robin Quivers. The event, which comes a week before Joel’s actual birthday, included a few guests (about 100) and some celebrity performers singing Joel’s songs.
Matt Lauer and Rachel Ray were in the audience. Performers at the event included Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Boyz II Men and Tony Bennett who closed the two-hour show with a rendition of “New York State of Mind.”
The Hollywood Reporter was on hand and offers a list of highlights from the Q & A session including Joel’s revelation that he used heroin once–but only once. Joel said of the incident, which took place in Amsterdam in the 1970s “It got me so high, I didn’t know how to deal with it.” “It scared me,” he added.
Other tidbits revealed during the event include the fact that Joel had once considered forming a supergroup with Sting and Don Henley.
Joel also revealed that he played piano on the demo version of the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack” when he was just 16 years old. Joel said that he still does not know whether his take made it to the version of the song that was eventually released or whether another musician re-recorded it.
Photo: Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP