In a recent interview, legendary musician Billy Joel admitted to trying heroin, but hated the experience so much he never touched it again.
“This was back in the late ’70s I think. We were in Amsterdam, and there was all this stuff going on, so I said, ‘Let me see what this is like,’ ” the 64-year-old told Howard Stern.
“It got me so high, I didn’t know how to deal with it,” remembered the Uptown Girl singer. “You just get way out, just go to another place, and you’re into the blues. All you want to hear is the blues. You start drooling, and you get sick.”
The Grammy winner revealed the experience was inspiration for his 1982 song “Scandinavian Skies” off the album, The Nylon Curtain. The lyrics mention the “sins of Amsterdam.”
The interview with Stern took place at The Cutting Room in Midtown Manhattan in front of 150 people. Billy also talked about his struggles with alcohol and shared an interesting tidbit about fellow rocker Sting.
“I started with Dewars White Label Scotch and then, when I really got heavy into it, it was vodka,” the celeb said of his alcohol addiction. “Vodka is a hard-core drink. I could take it in shots or I could just mix it with something.”
The singer went to rehab in 2002 and 2005 for substance abuse. “I can’t even smell the stuff anymore. It makes me sick. But it wasn’t consistent, it would be periods of time, during a divorce or something,” he explained.
Billy also revealed he talked about forming a band with Sting and Don Henley, calling it a “silly supergroup.” But alas, it never came to fruition.
After the interview, Billy performed a few of his hit songs for the crowd, but you can see the performer in action at Madison Square Garden during his monthly residency.