This article is from the archive of our partner .

Though it's not immediately clear if he's lost a bet or simply grown tired of venues that seat less than 20,000 people, songwriter and eternal piano man Billy Joel has signed on to perform at New York's Madison Square Garden "indefinitely"—or "until he dies," as some publications more bluntly put it.  

"A show a month at the Garden for as long as there's demand means more opportunities to connect with music fans and provides a unique and memorable show every time we play here," the famed balladeer said, announcing the news at a press conference in New York today. Those adjectives seem a tad suspect, given the staunch predictability of most of Joel's setlists these days, but hey—it's Billy Joel. Come for "Piano Man," stay to hear whatever zany contemporary references he's added to "We Didn't Start the Fire." And anyway, maybe he's banking on the more geriatric portion of his fanbase not quite remembering the previous show in the residency. A month is a long time to go without seeing Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden!

As NBC reports, MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan "unveiled a new Billy Joel MSG logo next to ones for the Knicks, the Rangers and the Liberty" and declared the occasion "a little like having the Pope as your parish priest." But what if the residency never ends? What if Joel proves immortal, ceaselessly belting out the "La la-la di-dee-da" bit in "Piano Man" as the seasons turn and the centuries pass over? What then? 

The residency starts January 27.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to