- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2006

My colleague Christian Toto has this to report from last night’s Billy Joel concert at the newly-christened Verizon Center:

Surviving addiction and multiple car crashes hasn’t affected Billy Joel’s sense of humor.

The Piano Man played a sold out Verizon Center Thursday night, yes, it’s gonna take a while to get used to the name change, and laced his act with self-deprecating humor. “I really need the money. You wouldn’t believe my car insurance bills,” he joked early in the show, alluding to the very public car crashes he’s had in recent years. Later, he tore into “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” but tweaked some of its now-classic lyrics.

“A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a glass of ginger ale instead,” the sober songwriter sang. It’s easier to laugh about your troubles when you’re selling out shows left and right, but give the New Yorker credit for doing it with style.

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