During an interview with BBC Radio 2, Billy Joel revealed his regret about not meeting John Lennon, despite living near each other.
Joel shared that he used to drive his boat past Lennon’s house but refrained from bothering him, assuming that Lennon was frequently approached by fans.
Joel mentioned that Lennon did the same when passing by his house.
Reflecting on their missed opportunity to connect, Joel expressed that they should have reached out to each other.
“I never met John, which is kind of sad because we lived near each other. I used to drive my boat by his house, and I’d say, ‘There’s John’s house, but I’m not gonna bother the guy; I’m sure he gets bothered all the time!’
“He used to do the same thing with me. So, we never bothered each other, which we should’ve done, actually.”
Joel also spoke about his relationship with Paul McCartney, mentioning that he has had the chance to meet him several times.
He described McCartney as great with kids, sharing stories of him interacting with Joel’s children. Joel recognized Paul McCartney as a dedicated and caring father.
“We all felt like we were in this special group because you loved The Beatles. Everyone was on the same page. The Beatles built a sense of community, which I haven’t felt for a long time.
When I’m on stage, and people are singing along, and I see all different ages, they’re singing all the words – they know the words! Which amazes me because I don’t remember half of them.”
The conversation then turned to the impact of The Beatles on both Joel and their audience. Billy Joel emphasized the sense of community that The Beatles fostered, bringing people together through their music.
He expressed his amazement at seeing fans of all ages singing along to his songs during his performances.
Billy Joel acknowledged that The Beatles’ influence extended beyond their era and continues to resonate with diverse generations.
In addition to performing The Beatles’ songs, Joel drew inspiration from his interactions with the band while crafting his own music.
He recounted a conversation with John Lennon’s son, Sean, which inspired him to create the hit song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
During their chat, Sean remarked on the overwhelming issues of the time, and Joel responded by pointing out that every era has its own significant events.
He illustrated this by mentioning historical figures and events from the 1950s. Joel clarified that “We Didn’t Start the Fire” was structured chronologically, representing the headlines that shaped his life.
Through this interview, Billy Joel’s regret about not meeting John Lennon and his appreciation for The Beatles’ impact on his life and music was evident.
Despite the missed opportunity for collaboration with Lennon, Joel continues to honor the band’s legacy and draw inspiration from their profound influence.
Their music not only resonates with him but also serves as a unifying force, connecting people of different ages and backgrounds.