Billy Joel to play open-ended run at Madison Square Garden

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Susan Watts/New York Daily News

Madison Square Garden announces Billy Joel as the arena’s first-ever music franchise alongside the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty.

Exactly how much Billy Joel does New York want?

We’ll soon find out since Joel and the Garden announced Tuesday that, starting in January, The Piano Man will begin playing one show a month, for “as long as the audience demands,” the star said.

The Garden must anticipate the demand will be great since they simultaneously announced Tuesday that Joel will become their first ever musical “franchise.” That appointment turns Joel into the Garden’s fourth pillar, equal to its three sports teams: the Knicks, The Rangers and the Liberty.

Already, Joel holds the record for the most Garden shows sold in a sustained run — 12, back in 2006. In total, Joel has played the Garden 46 times, dating to 1978.

So far, the Garden has only announced five Joel concerts for 2014, starting Jan. 27th. The venue previously put on sale four dates — Feb. 3, March 21, and April 18 — to which they added one date, announced Tuesday, for May 9th. That show will coincide with the star’s 65th birthday.

The first four dates are already sold out. Tickets will be available for purchase for the May 9th event beginning at 10am (EST) on Saturday, Dec. 7th.

Garden executive Melissa Ormond said “future shows will be announced at a later date.”

Gov. Cuomo honors Joel, who holds the record for most concerts in a single year at the Garden, at the Tuesday press conference.

Susan Watts/New York Daily News

Gov. Cuomo honors Joel, who holds the record for most concerts in a single year at the Garden, at the Tuesday press conference.

Joel and the venue held a joint press conference on Tuesday to make the announcement. They were joined by Gov. Cuomo, who called the Joel/Garden union “an ideal match… A New York icon now joins another New York icon.”

Garden Executive Chairman Jim Dolan likened “having (Joel) as your musical franchise is like having the pope as your parish priest.”

“I have a lot to live up to,” Joel commented. “I hope I don’t let you down.”

Joel’s pact with the Garden coincides with the venue’s $ 1 billion renovation. The upgrade, and the pact with Joel, means to earn the Garden back some of the ink and buzz which has migrated over to Barclays Center.

Joel has a separate deal with Barclays. He will make his debut at that venue on New Year’s Eve.

Tuesday night, Joel will headline a fundraiser for Gov. Cuomo at Roseland Ballroom. Ticket prices start at $ 225 and escalate to $ 50,000 for a table.

On Sunday, the “New York State of Mind” musician will receive a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor from President Obama in Washington.

Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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