Billy Joel admits trying heroin

Billy Joel
Billy Joel says he tried hard drugs, but they weren’t for him.
Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Billy Joel’s substance abuse problems are well known: For a while, it seemed like there wasn’t a building in Long Island that he hadn’t crashed his car into. Joel, an admitted alcoholic, now admits dabbling in much harder stuff, too.

The piano man spoke to his friend and admirer Howard Stern at a Town Hall concert celebrating his music. He admitted that his song “Scandinavian Skies” is about the time he tried heroin. ”This was back in the late ’70s, I think. We were in Amsterdam, and there was all this stuff going on, so I said, ‘Let me see what this is like,’” he told Stern (via Rolling Stone). “It got me so high I didn’t know how to deal with it. You just get way out, just go to another place, and you’re into the blues. All you want to hear is the blues. You start drooling, and you get sick.”

Joel’s distaste for the hard stuff probably helped him be a more productive musician, for which his fans can be grateful. That includes many celebrities who attended the Town Hall concert, including Pink, who said she walked down the aisle to “She’s Always a Woman” (uh, listen to the lyrics, girl), and Idina Menzel, who admitted that as a young belter she “got felt up” to “I’ve Loved These Days.”

None of them are such dedicated fans as this guy, though, who took the time to compile a video featuring every location Billy Joel mentioned in a song. Does Joel sound high when he says “Amsterdam”?



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