Billy Joel Licenses Video Game Out of Spite

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Billy Joel, whose three decades in rock 'n roll have made him one of the most successful recording artists of all time, probably doesn't need the money or the attention that come with licensing one's songs to the video game Rock Band, in which players mimic a live performance of famous songs using guitar- and drum-like controllers. But he does have one very good reason for finally following through on granting Rock Band the rights to his long-sought hits: Spite. Pure, unadulterated, unhidden, unadorned spite. USA Today's Elysa Gardner reports:

"I've never allowed my music to be used in a game before," but an Entertainment Weekly review of NBC's The Office changed his mind. Alluding to an episode in which characters mention a Rock Band featuring Billy Joel, "the critic wrote something like, 'God forbid that ever should happen.' So I called my people and said, 'Get me (on) that Rock Band game.' Then I wrote the critic, saying that every time I get a check, I'll give him a little nod."

Joystiq's Justin McElroy reacts:

We're assuming the songs will cost money, but we'd submit that reading the above story and knowing we'll never do anything remotely that cool is a dear enough price to pay.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.