September 23, 2002

From the 'If Only' Dept.: A...

From the 'If Only' Dept.: An interesting week-old NYT profile of sad Billy Joel reveals this:

In 1970, Joel tried to commit suicide by chugging half a bottle of furniture polish. The conventional wisdom has always been that this attempt stemmed from the fact that his career was floundering. (His attempt at a psychedelic heavy-metal band -- an ill-fated two-piece called Attila -- had just imploded.)
A psychedlic heavy-metal two-piece called Attila? It's never too late to try again, Billy. (Via a beam)

Posted by at September 23, 2002 01:23 AM
Comments


Hrrmm... might want to be careful about that 'header'... As I was 3/4 through the item, I still thought that the 'if only' referred to a more successful suicide attempt!

But, of course, that would have been crass.

Ken

Posted by: Ken at September 23, 2002 09:03 AM

Furniture polish????

Posted by: Bob Morris at September 23, 2002 10:41 AM

I even used to have one of those albums! Awful, awful, awful!

Posted by: a. beam at September 23, 2002 12:01 PM

a. beam -- If you get me drunk enough, I'll send you the lyrics to a Weird Al-type song I wrote in 1987 about Joel's career, to the tune of "You May Be Right." (It was called, naturally, "You May Be Rich"). It was juvenile and unfriendly. The opening lines:

Friday night you changed the diapers
Sunday got some windshield wipers
This got you so pumped up you wrote a sooong

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 23, 2002 12:35 PM

My father had the 8-track version of "The Stranger" and I can distinctly remember that, because of the format, the song "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," needed to be split into two parts, i.e., in the middle of the song, there was a far from discreet fade, you heard the machine switch tracks, and then you faded in to the rest of the song. Even at my tender age, I realized that a) 8-tracks would never make it and b) anyone who could rhyme "bottle of red," with "bottle of rose instead" was instantly dismissable. Thanks, Dad!

Posted by: Problem Drinker at September 23, 2002 01:18 PM

He was probably trying to capitalize on the success of Vanilla Fudge, which was a moderately good band for its time.

Posted by: Chris Kelly at September 24, 2002 02:51 PM

I confess. I owned the Attila record. It had an absolutely hilarious cover, with Billy and the other guy dressed up in full Hun suits, goatskins, funny horned helmets and all. Wish I still had it.

It was an awful, awful record.

Posted by: Charles at September 28, 2002 08:06 AM
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t-comments.cgi?__mode=red&id=1182">Bob Morris at September 23, 2002 10:41 AM

I even used to have one of those albums! Awful, awful, awful!

Posted by: a. beam at September 23, 2002 12:01 PM

a. beam -- If you get me drunk enough, I'll send you the lyrics to a Weird Al-type song I wrote in 1987 about Joel's career, to the tune of "You May Be Right." (It was called, naturally, "You May Be Rich"). It was juvenile and unfriendly. The opening lines:

Friday night you changed the diapers
Sunday got some windshield wipers
This got you so pumped up you wrote a sooong

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 23, 2002 12:35 PM

My father had the 8-track version of "The Stranger" and I can distinctly remember that, because of the format, the song "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," needed to be split into two parts, i.e., in the middle of the song, there was a far from discreet fade, you heard the machine switch tracks, and then you faded in to the rest of the song. Even at my tender age, I realized that a) 8-tracks would never make it and b) anyone who could rhyme "bottle of red," with "bottle of rose instead" was instantly dismissable. Thanks, Dad!

Posted by: Problem Drinker at September 23, 2002 01:18 PM

He was probably trying to capitalize on the success of Vanilla Fudge, which was a moderately good band for its time.

Posted by: Chris Kelly at September 24, 2002 02:51 PM

I confess. I owned the Attila record. It had an absolutely hilarious cover, with Billy and the other guy dressed up in full Hun suits, goatskins, funny horned helmets and all. Wish I still had it.

It was an awful, awful record.

Posted by: Charles at September 28, 2002 08:06 AM
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