Entertainment

How Bluey lured Billy Joel to Australia

The “Piano Man” superstar also revealed he’s a true Bluey fan, and the animation hit was part of the sell to his wife, Alexis Roderick, and daughters Della, 6, and Remy, 4, to join him on his one-night-only tour.Joel will perform his only Australian show on December 10 at the MCG.“My little girls love Bluey. They watch Bluey all the time,” Joel told the Herald Sun in an exclusive interview. . “I tell them, ‘That’s in Australia. Bluey is an Australian show.’ And they’re like, ‘Where’s that?’ And I go over to the map and show them where it is.“I try to talk with an Australian accent, which I’m pretty bad at. But they love that show. I enjoy Bluey, too. It’s very well written, the dialogue is great and the characters are charming. I like that family. I wish I knew them,” Joel said.Joel said he recently threw a Bluey-themed birthday party for Della.Meanwhile, he’s excited to return to Australia for the history-making show.“It’s strange to go all the way to Australia to do just one show, but I guess that’s the deal,” Joel said.“I haven’t been to Australia for a long, long time. My youngest kids four years old and six years old, and I think they would love Australia. I’ve always wanted to take them there, and now is my chance to show them,” he added, then laughed: “I figured, it’s for the kids.”The MCG coup is part of Always Live, a Frontier Touring collaboration with Visit Victoria, to showcase the state as a world-class music hub.Always Live was devised by the late music Mushroom Group boss Michael Gudinski, who toured Joel several times, and was a long-time friend of the megastar.“Michael was a nut, but he was a good nut. He was a lot of fun to hang out with,” Joel said.“Michael was high energy, high voltage, and always wanting to do crazy things. He was so into the music, and a real music fan.“Sure, he was a businessman making money, but he really loved what he was doing. It was always fun to work with him.”Joel, who has a monthly residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden, will play a greatest hits set in Melbourne.His recent shows have included Just the Way You Are, Movin’ Out, Allentown, She’s Always A Woman, The River Of Dreams, Piano Man, Uptown Girl, Big Shot, We Didn’t Start The Fire, and You May Be Right.“You’ve got to do songs that people know. You can’t just do all your obscure album tracks because a lot of people may not know them,” Joel said.“You’ve got to have a good amount of hits, but you’ve also got to do songs you like to do.“It can’t just be what everybody else wants. There’s also got to be some challenges. Then, once in a while,” he said, laughing, “I’ll do something off the cuff for s—s and giggles.”Joel, 73, said his New York residency shows, and the occasional stadium gig in neighbouring states, keeps him match fit and energised.“I try to do something different all the time. I never want to be on automatic pilot,” he said. “I’ll say something I see in the audience that I want to point out, or if somebody’s late, I’ll look at my watch and give them the face. All kinds of silliness goes on. It’s never the same thing twice, and that’s what keeps it fun.”Joel performed at the MCG with Elton John in 1998, and said he was ready to play on hallowed turf again.“We’ve play in a lot of stadiums over the last 20 years. I’m used to it,” he said. “At first, it was strange playing outdoors in these big gigantic places. But I think we’ve got a handle on it.”Mushroom Group boss and Always Live chairman, Matt Gudinski, said Joel’s show at the MCG “fulfils a dream my great father and I had”.He added: “What a coup for Victoria, the music capital, to have one of the greatest artists of our era perform exclusively in Melbourne at one of the greatest stadiums in the world.Billy Joel has sold more than 150 million records, and is the third best-selling solo artist of all time.Tickets will go on sale on July 4 from 10am here.Frontier Members can access pre-sale tickets on June 30 from 11am.Telstra Plus Members can access pre-sale tickets on June 27 from 10am here.

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