Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will release a new episode of his podcast “As a Matter of Fact … with Andrew Cuomo” on Friday, featuring an interview with singer-songwriter Billy Joel. The Piano Man chatted with Cuomo, godfather to his daughters Della Rose and Remy Ann with wife Alexis, via FaceTime from his Florida home just before the start of his stadium tour with Stevie Nicks, which kicks off March 10 in Inglewood, California.
“There are very few talents that are intergenerational and you are certainly one. Stevie Nicks is another,” said Cuomo, 65, whose podcast launched in October, 14 months after he resigned. “I think that’s so exciting and so cool.”
Joel, 73, admitted he was looking forward to it.
“We’ve never actually worked together. I’ve known her since the Fleetwood Mac days,” said Joel, who lives part-time in Center Island and part-time in Florida with his family. “I met her in San Francisco when we had a concert, but we never worked on stage together. It should be an interesting experience.”
Cuomo marveled at Joel’s continued residency at Madison Square Garden, noting that he has performed 90 concerts and counting. (Joel will perform his 89th residency concert on March 26, with monthly concerts scheduled through August.)
“I assumed there would be an arc next to it where it would start to sort of fade. But that didn’t happen,” Joel admitted. “They sell more tickets now than they did in the beginning. This is crazy.”
When Cuomo asked what he attributed to his career revival, Joel was stumped.
“I started trying to figure it out, but then I gave up,” Joel said. “They keep asking me, ‘What’s the reason for your longevity?’ I keep saying, ‘Well, I’m not dead yet. I’m still alive, that’s probably the reason for my longevity. I couldn’t tell you why. Really I do not know.”
Cuomo was curious about Joel’s support for the late Warren Zevon’s posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2023. In addition to feeling connected to Zevon as a fellow pianist, Joel declared him a true original.
“Nobody was like Warren Zevon,” Joel said. “He’s hit a plateau with his writing that I’ve always aspired to.”
When asked who would be in his personal hall of fame, Joel cited vocalist-pianist Steve Winwood, vocalist-guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Steve Gadd and composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Both Cuomo and Joel have one thing in common – they are fathers of three daughters. Joel discussed his thoughts on his eldest, Alexa Rae, 37, who is following in his footsteps by becoming a professional musician.
“I actually have mixed feelings about it. I know she is talented and very good at music. But I also know the music business and how treacherous it can be. There are a lot of pitfalls to it,” Joel said. “You’re kind of alone when you’re there. There is no safety net.
Cuomo also praised Joel for his recent support and assistance for victims of Hurricane Ian and for Ukrainian refugees. He then wondered what lyrics he would add to his 1989 history-making hit, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” today.
“There are many. This song was written in 1989 when Tiananmen Square happened in China, that’s how I finished this thing. Then there was the “Rock & Roller Cola Wars” with Michael Jackson … I thought it was the biggest craze. But then it got weirder. Things just got out of hand,” Joel said. “We’re in the 21st century and we’re watching these crazy things happen like the war in Ukraine. Who would have predicted that these things would happen, but they have. We thought we had learned from the mistakes of history, but we haven’t.”
Knowing that he is a motorcycle fanatic, Cuomo asked Joel which bike he would like to have back. Joel immediately spotted the beer-colored 1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1000.
“You never see him again,” said Joel. “I keep looking for it, but I never find it. That’s rare.”
But as far as boats go, Joel says he’s very happy with his Alexa, a 36-foot BHM hulled lobster boat that he rigs out as a swordfish boat.
“One time we went out fishing on it in Long Island Sound and all these boats started trolling around us,” Cuomo recalled. “They recognized the boat and wanted to see you.”
Joel added: “It turned into a parade.”
Cuomo quipped, “Next time we’re going out on a boat called Incognito!”