Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo proclaimed July 18, 2018 as Billy Joel Day in New York State at the celebration of Billy Joel’s 100th lifetime performance at Madison Square Garden. As part of the celebration, Billy Joel’s piano will be displayed at Madison Square Garden.
In a press release, and during a press conference held Wednesday, Governor Cumo stated, “What a great day and first let me thank Jim Kerr for his leadership and being here today. Talk about an icon. Jim Kerr is an icon and I group up with him and I’m sure so many others. Let’s give Jim a round of applause and thank him for what he does. To Chazz and to Billy and Alexis, Billy’s better half – let’s give her a round of applause. She’s also the mother of two young stars, Della Rose and Remy Anne. And I have the honor of being their Godfather and don’t worry Chazz, as soon as they’re old enough I’ll take them to Author Avenue for a real meal and let them understand the Italian culture.”
Cuomo thanked Jim Doan, who he stated had a vision when he thought about Billy Joel and the Billy Joel franchise.
Cuomo added, “I think it was Jim’s sweet spot. It put together his knowledge of music, his appreciation of music, his knowledge of the arena, and it has been a phenomenal success. I also want to thank Jim and his team at Madison Square Garden who have been working with the state on improving Penn Station for the Long Island Rail Road. And they have been a great corporate citizen, so I want to thank them for that.”
The Governor then presented Billy Joel with a proclamation and offered some words, stating, “The one hundredth show; I mean it really is a breathtaking accomplishment when you think of it. But, I’m not surprised. Billy is an international icon. You get tourists coming here from around the globe and it is a perfect attraction when you’re coming to New York. What I find in some ways is more fascinating, is 40 years in this town, which is one of the toughest audiences on the globe – as you just heard from that gentleman. And after 40 years, the same tough hometown crowd loves him. Why? Because there is an authenticity about Billy and his music.”
He continued, “You can’t fool New Yorkers for 40 years. He is New York. He has the New York rhythm. And for all our differences in New York, there is a commonality, there is humanity, there is a unity that connects us all. And Billy has touched that common humanity. He’s done it in his songs, and he’s done it in his life. It’s who he is. He is a quintessential New Yorker. He is a quintessential middle-class, working family New Yorker from Long Island, or from Queens or from Upstate New York. That’s who he is. It’s who he has always been and he has never changed. He still is riding motorcycles. He still loves to go fishing off Long Island when he gets a chance. He’s still with the old team and still hanging out with friends from the old neighborhood. With all the fame and all the lights, he still is the man he was when he started. And that’s what New Yorkers feel.”
Cuomo highlighted that Billy Joel has also been there for New York; whether it was after 9/11, or even Hurricane Sandy; whether it is helping to keep the environment clean, whether it’s fighting breast cancer, whenever New York has asked, Billy has been there, according to Governor Cuomo.
He concluded, prior to reading Billy Joel the proclamation, “So we like to say I Love New York is the New York icon. The icon for today would be New York Loves Billy Joel.”
The proclamation reads as follows:
“Whereas the Empire State is proud to join in celebrating historic achievements in the lives of distinguished New Yorkers who have helped shape our cultural history and have made important lasting contributions to the lives of our residents;
“Whereas one of the most iconic and influential figures in American music history, Billy Joel, has had an immeasurable impact on the entertainment industry as a singer-songwriter;
“Whereas winner of six Grammy awards, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Billy has produced 33 Top 40 hits in the U.S. and sold more than 150 million records worldwide;
“Whereas his achievements and influence have continued throughout a long, successful touring career;
“Whereas since his first performance at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 1978, Billy has established an unmatched record of achievements at the world’s most famous arena;
“Whereas Billy marks his 54th consecutive performance and 100th performance at Madison Square Garden, I, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby proclaim today, July 18, as Billy Joel Day.” Congratulations to Billy Joel.
You can view the remarks from the July 18 proclamation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mXkvY5UCaM&feature=youtu.be.
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