Why Billy Joels upcoming 100th MSG show special wont be on streaming services


These days, streaming services are all the rage, so that’s where many top artists — from Elton John to Taylor Swift — are taking their concert specials. But Billy Joel‘s upcoming TV special documenting his 100th residency concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden will be on good ol’ broadcast television — for one good reason.

“We wanted to reach as many people as possible in every economic and age demographic as we possibly can,” Billy’s agent, Dennis Arfa, tells Newsday of the decision to air the special on CBS.  Arfa notes, “It was time for people around the country and around the world to see what Billy’s accomplished.”  

As for Billy, well, he’s ambivalent about the whole deal. He tells Newsday, “I’m not usually a big fan of televised shows. You know, I signed up as a musician, not as a TV actor. I’m just not photogenic.”

On that note, Billy’s lighting director, Steve Cohen, 70, tells Newsday, “The hardest thing for Billy is to face the fact that this is what we look like now. I can’t tell Billy to look at himself and like what he sees. But it will be the best-lit version and the best-sounding Billy on camera.”

As for surprise guests at the concert, which is taking place March 28 and will air on CBS on April 14, Billy says he has no idea who’ll show up. “I’ve kind of stayed out of it,” he tells Newsday. “I like spontaneity. I don’t want everything all scripted.”

But despite the fact that Billy is wrapping up his Garden residency in July, capping it at 150 career shows at the famous New York venue, he stresses that he’ll keep on performing “unless I’m too decrepit to pull it off.”

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