Billy Joel took a little break from his Madison Square Garden show on Thursday night to speak about the robbery that hit his Long Island house the last time he played the New York arena. The robbers smashed a glass door leading into his garage and vandalized 12 of his motorcycles.
“Last time I was here they hit my house,” he told the crowd. “I guess everyone knows I’m not home. I got dogs, lights, guns, everything at the house now. I’m hoping they try it again. Come on, come one! Bring it on! Anyway, everyone is fine.”
He then played three consecutive selections from The Stranger — “Vienna,” the title track and “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” — before going off script again by breaking into a truncated rendition of “Born to Run” that the MSG crowd greeted with shouts of “Brooooce.”
“Ah, boo my ass,” Joel joked. “I know what they’re saying! Duh! But it’s the same thing: Bruce, Boo…”
This led to another impromptu Springsteen cover from Born to Run: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” This one lasted much longer because the horn section joined the fun.
In July 2018, Springsteen joined Joel at his 100th MSG concert to perform both “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” Both acts have been signed to Columbia since the early Seventies, and both were nearly dropped when their first few albums failed to connect with mass audiences. Their fortunes were forever changed when The Stranger and Born to Run exploded.
Billy Joel performs next when his ongoing tour takes him to Mexico City on March 6th. He’s going to spend the summer hitting stadiums across America, like Buffalo’s New Era Field, Boston’s Fenway Park and Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. Just don’t try to rob his house when he’s playing any of these shows. As he said, he’s got guns and dogs now. It wouldn’t be smart.