The $3,000-a-ticket Billy Joel show in the Hamptons Saturday was billed as “the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll fantasy,” and it was — if your idea of rock and roll begins and ends with wretched excess. Upon arrival, guests were whisked to a quasi-secret location in a fleet of chartered buses that came so often they practically formed a train; once inside the perimeter, they had to contend with troupes of caterers, candy girls, cigar-toting Davidoff reps, and the like. We weren’t too surprised to find megamagician David Blaine, bulkier than we remembered him, moodily walking around, but our hearts sank a bit once we realized the guy had been hired as pre-show entertainment. Because Blaine is mostly famous for very public acts of endurance, we inquired how long, in his estimation, he’d be able to continuously listen to Billy Joel. “Ha-ha,” said the magician. “Seriously, he’s awesome.” (Actually, later, Billy Joel would prove to be, well, Billy Joel.)
Blaine then demanded a quarter. Luckily, it was for a trick: He made us write our name on the coin and hold it in an outstretched fist. When we opened our hand, the quarter was bent in half. People began to gather; Blaine launched into a series of first-rate card tricks, with us as the accidental sidekick. Strangely enough, the party gig agreed with Blaine: It’s been a while since we’ve been reminded that the dude known for splashy media spectacles is, in his heart of hearts, a talented street magician. So what’s next, we asked. “Moscow,” answered Blaine nonchalantly. “I’m thinking of doing something in Red Square.” He then crouched to come face-to-face with a shy, fast-blinking 5-year-old. “Pick a card,” he said.
Mary-Kate Olsen, Adam Sandler, and Jon Bon Jovi were also at Billie Joel’s show at the Ross School. For more photos and quotes, read Party Lines.