Billy Joel has responded to Elton John’s comments this morning on the Today Show that the Piano Man “hates” him for his recent comments in Rolling Stone. “He sent me a message and he’s not happy,” John told Matt Lauer. “He may want to punch my face. I understand that. I’m sorry I had to say it, but I’m saying it because I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy. That’s all it came from. I understand why he’s mad at me. I’m only trying to help. Maybe I should have done it privately, but I’ve been so frustrated over the years.”
But it seems like Joel is trying to take the high road. In a statement released by the singer’s publicist, he said:
“1. I do not hate Elton John
2. I do not want to “punch him in the face”
3. If he wants to call me, my number is still the same.
4. Good luck with the movie.
The movie he’s referring to is Gnomeo and Juliet, which features music by John. Of course, it’s hard not to feel that the unhappy “message” he sent John privately differed slightly from his public statements.
For those keeping track, this is the second time that Billy Joel has responded (through his publicist) to Elton John’s comments. “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 last week. “Elton is just being Elton.”