billy joel

Does Billy Joel Have to Die Before New York Names a Road After Him?

Photo: Don Huntstein/Courtesy of Sony Music Archives

Does Billy Joel, winner of Newsday’s “That’s So Long Island” contest, have to die before a section of Route 107 on Long Island can be rechristened Billy Joel Boulevard? According to The Wall Street Journal, state legislators have spent a while grappling with this complex question. While many Democrats have argued that we should wait until people are dead before we start naming landmarks after them, Republicans — especially those from Long Island — would rather that the singer, who is a Democrat, get the chance to appreciate the honor. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who officiated the star’s fourth wedding, agrees that the road should be renamed now, not in the distant future when Joel is gone enough to be a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” lyric. The singer, still busy selling out Madison Square Garden at every chance, doesn’t seem too concerned about the debate over his infrastructural legacy. He told the Journal: “I’d rather be alive with no Billy Joel Boulevard than dead with one.”

N.Y. Debates Timing of Billy Joel Boulevard