Billy Joel’s Faustian Deal With Madison Square Garden

Billy Joel gets Madison Square Garden banner. (Getty Images)

Billy Joel gets Madison Square Garden banner. (Getty Images)

For a musician, nothing says you’ve made it like playing a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. Just ask One Direction. Once you’ve made it there, you’re basically living the dream.

Though thanks to the deal Billy Joel signed yesterday to play a concert at the Garden every month until basically the end of his life (or career, whichever comes first), we have to imagine “the dream” has started to resemble a surreal version of Groundhog’s Day.

It’s a Vegas-style move, putting the Piano Man in as the first artist-in-residence, alongside MSG’s other staples: the Knicks, the Rangers and the New York Liberty. “(Billy Joel) is promising to play one show every month starting in January 2014, going on and on until either he or his fans are exhausted,” reported BusinessWeek, which would ostensibly have him beat out Elton John for longest running concert record of any one artist at the Garden.

As the no-longer-movin’-out performer told assembled press during a conference yesterday:

“Performing at Madison Square Garden is a thrilling experience. I’ve played different venues all over the world, but there’s no place like coming home to the Garden,” Joel said in a statement. “Since my first show in 1978, I’ve always looked forward to the energy of the crowd. I’m honored to be joining the Madison Square Garden family and look forward to taking the stage of the newly transformed Garden to create many more memorable nights.”

Technically, the open-ended residency stipulates that Mr. Joel only has to play “as there is a demand.” But considering that the first four dates of the concert series have already sold out, we’re putting our money on Joel burning out before his fans do.