The Worst Pop Singer Ever
Why, exactly, is Billy Joel so bad?
What else? What if you had to choose one song as the epitome of B.J. badness?
OK, I think it would have to be "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me."
It shows how completely, totally clueless Billy Joel is. It suggests he wrote it because he thought people regarded him as an outmoded relic because he doesn't wear the right hip-signifier clothes. That it's a matter of his wide ties vs. New Wave skinny ties, that it's because his car doesn't have white-wall tires or because he doesn't dress "like a Beau Brummell" or hang out with the right crowd or look like Elvis Costello.
He thinks people can't stand him because he dresses wrong or doesn't look right.
Billy Joel, they can't stand you because of your music; because of your stupid, smug attitude; because of the way you ripped off your betters to produce music that rarely reaches the level even of mediocrity. You could dress completely au courant and people would still loathe your lame lyrics.
It's not that they dislike anything exterior about you. They dislike you because of who you really are inside. They dislike you for being you. At a certain point, consistent, aggressive badness justifies profound hostility. They hate you just the way you are.
Ron Rosenbaum is the author of The Shakespeare Wars and Explaining Hitler. His latest book is How the End Begins: The Road to a Nuclear World War III.
Photograph of Billy Joel by Henny Ray Abrams/AFP/Getty Images.