If you grew up in 1970s suburban New Jersey, as I did, you cannot judge Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen objectively. It is analogous to Alabama’s relationship with Lynyrd Skynyrd. A recording artist encapsulates the zeitgeist of a time and place so perfectly, the music becomes inseparable from that region. You can’t criticize it; it’s too much a part of your identity.
Billy Joel may as well be my uncle. The man has penned tunes that I cannot distinguish from my own personal experiences. People mock and laugh at Billy’s foibles and shortcomings, and it never sinks in. The places and emotions he has brought to life are just too vivid for me. Continue reading