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Billy Joel Checks Into Rehab

Singer-songwriter visits Connecticut hospital for "personal problem"

June 20, 2002 12:00 AM ET

Billy Joel has checked himself into the Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, to deal with "a specific and personal problem that had recently developed." The statement released by the fifty-three-year-old Joel's label didn't specify the reason for his visit to the substance abuse and psychiatric hospital, only to say that he planned to stay ten days, and will soon be leaving.

Joel's hospital visit is not expected to affect his fall tour plans. He and Elton John were forced to cancel several dates on their Face to Face tour this past spring after Joel was diagnosed with acute laryngitis, inflamed vocal chords and an acute upper respiratory infection. The tour was called off after a troubled New York City date, for which a New York Times review said that Joel, who warned the audience that he had a cold, seemed to have taken "something quite a bit stronger than cough syrup."

Joel quickly responded with a statement that read: "I did not want to let my hometown down. I pushed it more than I should have. I have been assured by my doctors that I will make a complete recovery and will be able to give the audience 100 percent and perform the kick-ass show that Elton and I have been doing on this tour."

The eleven dates have since been rescheduled, starting September 13th in Tampa and running into October.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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