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Billy Joel Responds to Elton John's 'Tough Love' in the New 'Rolling Stone'

'Elton is just being Elton,' Joel says

February 2, 2011 1:40 PM ET
 Elton John and Billy Joel in concert at the Toyota Center on March 19, 2009 in Houston, Texas.
Elton John and Billy Joel in concert at the Toyota Center on March 19, 2009 in Houston, Texas.
Bob Levey/WireImage

Billy Joel has responded to Elton John's allegations in the new Rolling Stone that he's never seriously attempted to curb his drinking habits. "I've worked with Elton for such a long time and I've enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him," Joel said in a statement. "Elton is just being Elton."

Elton John Gives Billy Joel 'Tough Love' In New Rolling Stone Cover Story

In the interview, John was also critical of Joel's decision to stop writing new music. "At the end of the day, he's coasting," John said."I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum. We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism. He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been rehab light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs. I love you, Billy, and this is tough love. Billy, you have your demons and you're not going to get rid of them at rehab light. You've got to be serious. People adore you, they love you and respect you. You should be able to do something better than what you're doing now."

Photos From Elton John And Billy Joel's Co-Headlining Tour

John and Joel have had numerous highly successful co-headlining tours over the past 15 years, but last year Joel cancelled a planned stadium run. He recently had double-hip replacement surgery and it's unclear when he plans on returning to the road.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vans”

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Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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