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Pink Fears Her Collaboration With Billy Joel May Be ‘Trash’

Larry Busacca, Getty Images
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Earlier this year, Billy Joel agreed to write a song with pop star Pink, who has, by her own admission, been relentlessly pursuing a collaboration with the Piano Man.

But they didn’t get it right the first time, and Pink recently revealed that she fears their work together could be headed for the trash. “The problem is he’s too good for me. I clammed up. But we’re gonna keep trying,” she told the L.A. Times. “He goes, ‘Do me a favor: Go home, pick out the best poem you’ve ever written and send it to me, and I’ll make you a song.’ I got home and was like, ‘All my poems are the worst pieces of trash I’ve ever seen in my life.'”

Pink said Joel was always polite, but not quite as amenable at first. “Billy Joel is, in my opinion, one of the best songwriters that’s ever lived,” she said. “He paints a picture with words unlike any other. I walked down the aisle to ‘She’s Always a Woman.’ I grew up listening to him with my dad. He was the first concert I ever went to at 2 years old. I did the Songwriters Hall of Fame 15 or 16 years ago, and I saw him and went over to him and I went, ‘Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m Pink and I want you to write a song with me.’ He goes, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I don’t write pop music anymore.’

Though Joel began a monthly residency at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 2014, and occasionally performs one-off stadium shows, he hasn’t released an album of pop music since 1993’s River of Dreams. He held himself to too high a standard, he explained, and lost interest in the process as a result. “I’d turn into a caveman — walk around kicking things,” Joel told the L.A. Times. 

Earlier this year, however, Joel invited both Guns ‘N Roses frontman Axl Rose and Pink onstage at Dodger Stadium, where Rose performed AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell” and Joel’s “Big Shot,” while Pink sat in for “New York State of Mind,” and her own “Try.”

Pink kept running into Joel, and she persisted. “I brought my dad to his concert, and he had us backstage,” she recalled. “Then I went to a master class of his in Times Square. And I’ve never left him alone. I’ve never stopped asking. He always says no. He’s kind, but he’s firm. But then we ran into him in the Bahamas at a piano bar. I bought a very good bottle of wine and sent him a glass. He came over and I said, ‘You gonna write that song with me?’ He said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.’ So several months ago I flew to Palm Beach with my brand new baby and we tried to write a song.”

Like Pink, Joel isn’t sure where the collaboration is headed, and whether a release is in their future. Joel confirmed they had tossed some ideas back and forth, and that he had a good time. Meanwhile, Pink joined Guns ‘N Roses onstage during their Madison Square Garden show last night to sing “Patience.”

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