Billy Joel spoke candidly about his alcohol issues in a new interview with Parade.com. The "Piano Man," who performs his 100th career concert at New York's Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night (July 18th), shed light on why he quit writing songs and his battles with the bottle, revealing, "I couldn’t be as good as I wanted to be. It drove me crazy. The drinking was part of it. If I couldn’t be as good as I wanted to be, I’d just drown it with booze. . . I know I’ve got a reputation that I’m this depressed guy. I’m not -- I’m a happy guy. . . I was in rehab twice. The first time in rehab, in ’02, I wouldn’t even stay. I was only there for a couple of days. The press was all over the place. I said, 'I got to get out of here.' The second time was at (the) Betty Ford (Center in 2005), which was not a lot of fun. I was drinking too much. I said, 'This time I’m going to stick it through for a month.' It was one of the best things I ever did."
When pressed about any possible issues he might've had with drugs, Billy admitted: "I’ve tried everything; I’m a musician, come on. But I never had a problem with (drugs)."
Billy is now on his fourth marriage to Alexis Roderick, with two small daughters -- Della Rose and Remy Anne -- at home. Billy was asked if he thought his fame cost him his previous marriages: "I had to work. I was on the road. I was gone all the time. It’s not good for a relationship. I ended up doing what my dad did. He was never home. I wanted to be a home dad, which I am now. I have two little kids, and if I’m not working at the Garden or at a stadium, I’m home with them."
When pressed as to what he was most proud of, he said, "My ability to move on with life. I’ve had difficulties in my life, but it never stopped me from continuing. I’ve had divorces, it didn’t stop me marrying again. Troubles with business didn’t stop me from doing business. I have no bitterness about anything, even people who rip me off, I let it go. I’m content with that. I’m happy. I’m having a happy ending."
During his appearance on Inside The Actor's Studio, Billy said that even though he came of age in the 1960's, he never fully bought into the hippie mentality: "I didn’t get that ‘feed your head’ thing. I was never a big fan of the Jefferson Airplane, (sings): ‘One pill makes you smaller, and one pill makes you taller. . . ’ I just wasn’t into it. And I’m no saint! I’ve had my share of imbibing in just about everything."
You can read the entire interview HERE