Billy Joel and Sir Elton John ended their feud at the Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony in New York City on Thursday night after Joel told the ‘Rocket Man’ to call him just after he introduced inductees Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner.
The former pals and touring partners fell out in 2011 when the Brit publicly accused Joel of not taking rehab seriously as he attempted to battle alcoholism in a blunt magazine interview, during which he also suggested the New Yorker was lazy.
The I’m Still Standing rocker told Rolling Stone, “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.”
He added, “At the end of the day, he’s coasting. I always say, ‘Billy, can’t you write another song?’ It’s either fear or laziness. It upsets me.”
Joel was clearly saddened by Elton’s comments and publicly reprimanded him, but revisiting the feud in a New York Times Magazine article, which was published last month (May13), it appeared the My Life hitmaker had mellowed, stating, “He (Elton) tends to shoot off his mouth – he shoots from the hip. I think his heart is in the right place. Maybe he’s trying to motivate me, to get me mad or something. He’s kind of like a mom.”
Joel also recently stated he would be interested in performing with his fellow rock pianist again.
Elton, who was honored with the Johnny Mercer Award at the music gala, offered to officially end the pair’s stand-off at the Songwriters Hall of Fame event when he took the stage and said, “I didn’t see you tonight Mr. Joel, but I want to see you.”
And his gamble paid off – Joel later took to the microphone and asked, “Is Elton still here by the way?” before adding, “Anyway, we’re OK. Call me. It’s the same phone number.”
As well as Elton and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and singer-songwriter J.D. Souther were saluted at Marriott Marquis Hotel gala, while Motown founder Berry Gordy was handed the Pioneer Award.