NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — He famously told us that ‘only the good die young,’ but Billy Joel has lived a long, successful life, seemingly with no plans of slowing down.
Ironically that could prevent him from receiving what would be a huge accolade honoring his work.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport explained, Joel is rock n’ roll royalty. He has six Grammys and tens of millions in album sales. He’s belted out the soundtrack of life for generations of fans, and he’s a Long Island boy.
“He’s brought Hicksville into fame and fortune,” Bill Foley said.
When the idea came up to name a stretch of road on Route 107, between the Northern State Parkway and Lenox Ave, Billy Joel Boulevard, it seemed like a no brainer to many. Especially in Joel’s home town.
“Look at hoe much attention he’s brought to Long Island. He’s from here. A nationwide, worldwide star,” Mark Eismann said.
But the proposed honor for the Piano Man may have hit a sour note.
“It’s very nuts, and I think it’s an embarrassment,” Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R) said.
Montesano said some of his colleagues in the State Assembly feel that Joel shouldn’t be honored with a road, because he is still alive.
“The mere fact that he’s with us is still the problem,” Montesano said.
Montesano said the bill he sponsored squeezed through the Senate twice, but some lawmakers feel street namings should be reserved for people who are no longer with us. As such the issue has never come up for a vote.
“Traditionally we honor people after they are deceased. It’s not about glorifying them while they are alive,” Assemblywoman Deborah Glick said.
But in iconic Joel locales like ‘the Village Green’ mentioned in his song ‘Scenes From An Italian Restaurant’ folks said the argument against a Billy Joel Boulevard is preposterous.
“Why not do it when he’s alive and let him enjoy it?” grade school classmate Brian O’Leary said.
On Tuesday night, Billy Joel will play the final show at the Nassau Coliseum. Tickets went on sale in May and sold out in 5 minutes.