Elton John and Billy Joel stage boxing match at Madison Square Garden
OK, this headline is a little bit of a stretch, but there were lots of doings at Madison Square Garden with famous piano-playing dudes in their 60s who have two first names.
On Tuesday, the arena announced that Billy Joel will be the first artist to do a monthly residency at the NYC arena.
And then on Wednesday, MSG commemorated Elton John’s 64th performance at the arena, following two sold-out concerts on Dec.3 and 4. For Sir Elton’s achievement, a new banner was raised to the rafters replacing Elton’s 62 performances banner, which the legendary artist earned in 2007.
“Madison Square Garden is honored to welcome back one of the greatest artists of all time, Elton John,” said Melissa Ormond, president, MSG Entertainment. “With 64 performances, Elton has performed more concerts than any other artist in the history of Madison Square Garden, and we are thrilled to pay tribute to this extraordinary achievement.”
OK, so basically, they’re laying down the groundwork for an eventual showdown between the piano man and the rocket man that may or may not have begun when BJ and EJ toured together in 2001 on the Face to Face tour. Yes, yes, the two did have an actual public feud and then publicly made up in June. But come on, why else would BJ be doing this? To break EJ’s record! Right?
Joel has reportedly performed 47 times at the Garden since his first headlining show there in 1978, so if he’s playing one gig per month for all eternity (because, Billy Joel will never die, right?) he will break John’s record by June 2014. (Is this math correct? 65-47=18, which would translate into a year-and-a-half.) And for each of these 17 gigs in the interim, he will stare bitterly at that “64″ in the rafters!
This is all speculation, of course.