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Billy Joel ditches helicopter to ride the LIRR to his MSG concerts — and no one notices

Rock legend Billy Joel revealed he has ditched his helicopter for a much more humble form of transportation to get to and from his concerts: the Long Island Railroad -- where other cynical commuters brush him off as a lookalike.
Rock legend Billy Joel revealed he has ditched his helicopter for a much more humble form of transportation to get to and from his concerts: the Long Island Railroad -- where other cynical commuters brush him off as a lookalike.

He’s in an LIRR state of mind.

Rock legend Billy Joel revealed he has ditched his helicopter for a much more humble form of transportation to get to and from his concerts: the Long Island Railroad — where other cynical commuters brush him off as a lookalike.

The 74-year-old “Uptown Girl” crooner used to fly his glitzy chopper to his Madison Square Garden residency but he traded the skies for the tracks over safety fears, he told Newsday as his record-breaking residency at the storied Midtown venue comes to an end.

The choice initially concerned his team, who thought his stardom would cause a “big megillah.”

The 74-year-old has six shows left in his Madison Square Garden residency, ending July 25, and the famous singer was well-known for taking a glitzy helicopter to the venue. Youtube
The 74-year-old has six shows left in his Madison Square Garden residency, ending July 25, and the famous singer was well-known for taking a glitzy helicopter to the venue. Youtube

But Joel said his commute has been uneventful.

“People will sometimes look at me on the railroad and think, ‘Look at this guy, trying to look like Billy Joel. He’s not kidding anybody,’” he told the outlet.

In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, the “New York State of Mind” singer admitted that the turbulence of the helicopter would make him uneasy.

“I now take the Long Island Railroad,” he told the late-night host.

The LIRR celebrated being the chosen transportation method for the “Piano Man,” writing on X Friday: “Was that Billy Joel on the LIRR? Indeed, much like many other Long Islanders, he prefers the railroad for his trips to Madison Square Garden!”

Joel began to fear for his safety, telling Stephen Colbert last month that he “got freaked out” because “sometimes there is turbulence.” He said: “I now take the Long Island Railroad.” Getty Images
Joel began to fear for his safety, telling Stephen Colbert last month that he “got freaked out” because “sometimes there is turbulence.” He said: “I now take the Long Island Railroad.” Getty Images
The choice initially concerned his team, who thought his stardom would cause a “big megillah.” SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
The choice initially concerned his team, who thought his stardom would cause a “big megillah.” SARAH YENESEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Joel will play his 150th and final show of his residency at Madison Square Garden on July 25.

His March 28 concert will be filmed by CBS — a first for the rockstar — and released in mid-April.

“It was time for people around the country and around the world to see what Billy’s accomplished,” his agent, Dennis Arfa, who set up the CBS special, told Newsday.

Joel is currently in the middle of his final residency at the Garden, which will end on his 150th show there this summer. Matthew McDermott
Joel is currently in the middle of his final residency at the Garden, which will end on his 150th show there this summer. Matthew McDermott

“We wanted to reach as many people as possible in every economic and age demographic as we possibly can.”

Meanwhile, the self-conscious star says he’s “not photogenic” and isn’t “usually a big fan of televised shows.”

“You know, I signed up as a musician, not as a TV actor,” he told the outlet.

The star may be a household name and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, but he said he “still can’t figure that out for the life of me.”

“When was the transition? When did that happen?” he questioned, before adding, “I always thought what I was writing was worthwhile. I thought it had some value.”

Joel first launched his residency at the Garden in 2014.

But the Piano Man will still continue to perform.

“This is what I do,” he said.

“I asked Springsteen, you know, ‘What are you going to do?’ I talked to Don Henley about the same thing: ‘What are your plans?'”

“This is what I do,” they told him. “And they’re right. This is what we do.”