Every star has their critics, and Billy Joel is no exception. Over the years, he’s admitted to using them to motivate himself. However, there’s also no denying that there have been many times he let them get under his skin, too.
Joel’s Vulture interview shed some light on why he had felt so strongly about the way critics wrote about him. For starters, he explained, early on in his career, he felt they’d framed him as somehow deviant. He also believed some of the critics were suspicious of him, thanks to his piano training. Joel’s take was that his piano was still seen as more elite than guitars, and as such, he was also deemed less real than someone like Bruce Springsteen. While, in retrospect, Joel isn’t quite as frustrated by the jabs he received, he told Vulture that at the time, there was a much bigger chance of a bad review having a big impact on his career.
Several years down the line, he’s no longer as triggered by the critiques. In fact, in a 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, he even admitted that he’d placed way more focus on the haters than he should have. That’s because, while he certainly did receive some unkind reviews, for the most part, he was getting mostly positive feedback.