Billy Joel Recalls Anti-Trump Demonstration at Madison Square Garden
Asked to single out any particular moments, Joel chose a show that took place soon after Heather Heyer was killed during a white supremacist incident in Charlottesville, Va. – prompting Trump to avoid condemnation by claiming there were “very fine people on both sides.”
“I remember the nights that my daughter Della was there,” Joel told CBS News. “She was dancing around. This past year or so, there was the night I wore the Star of David. … I don’t think it’s right for me to get up on a soapbox, because that’s not why people are there. … I had to do something that night."
Joel singled out Trump's comment as a reason for his action. "No, Nazis aren’t good people," he said. "It really enraged me, actually. My old man, his family got wiped out. They were slaughtered in [the World War II concentration camp] Auschwitz. Him and his parents were able to get out. But then he was in the U.S. Army during the war and fought with [Gen. George S.] Patton and was shot at by Nazis. My family suffered. And I think I actually have a right to do that.”
Joel admitted he hadn’t expected the residency to last so long, saying he was “flattered” and “flabbergasted” that this transition into a “franchise, like a sports team” had been such a success. He joked that the audience was “doing a lot of the work.” "When I'm doing the song, I'm not actually thinking about what I'm doing," he explained. "I'm listening to the audience singing. You know, I'm going, 'All right, not bad!’”