Get your root beer rags ready, because Colorado College has put together an event that Joelheads around the country have been clamoring for. The school’s music department is hosting “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”: The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel, a symposium–(thankfully) open to the public–being held Oct. 7-8 that delves into the cultural impact of Joel and his music. There will be 24 lectures over the course of the weekend ranging from “If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You): Billy Joel Lyrics in Medical and Legal Scholarship” to “Billy Joel and the Language of Pecuniary Aspiration” and back to “Jesus and Billy Joel: A Musicotheology.” Incredibly, the event will end with a live phone interview with the Piano Man himself.
We at WIRED are very excited about this celebration of Mr. Long Island’s opus. Yet there seem to be a lot of missed opportunities in the symposium’s lineup. Here are six lectures we wish were on the bill:
- “Pianos and Men”: On Manhood and Pianohood in Post-War America
- “You May Be Right”: Billy Joel’s Influence Upon (and Lyrical Reflection of) the Reagan Revolution of the ’80s
- “Oyster Bae”: The Hyper-Sexualization of Billy Joel’s Long Island Roots
- “Only the Good Die Jung”: Billy Joel’s Rejection of Analytic Psychology
- “Paul Is Dead”: Reading the Real Estate Novel Through a Barthesian Lens
- “Bread in My Jar”: Billy Joel, Body Image, and the Complexities of the Early-’90s Carb-Awareness Craze