- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 26, 2013

Award-winning singer and pianist Billy Joel blames the depression he felt after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks for a spate of car accidents that brought his problems with alcohol into the public eye.

“I was kind of in a mental fog, and it had nothing to do with the booze,” the pop icon told The New York Times. “My mind wasn’t right. I wasn’t focused. I went into a deep, deep depression after 9/11.

“9/11 just knocked the wind out of me, and I don’t know even now if I’ve recovered from it. It really, really hurt that man could do that to man.

“And then there was a break-up with somebody, and it took me a while to get me back on my feet again … I used booze as medication.”

Mr. Joel said that he does not participate in 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

“I don’t subscribe to A.A., I don’t subscribe to 12-step stuff. Sometimes I just overdid it,” he added. “I don’t know why I drank so much.”

Mr. Joel entered rehab in 2005 for drinking.