The Piano Man really was in desperate need of a tuneup.
While Billy Joel admitted during an interview last week on The Howard Stern Show that he was soon headed in for double hip-replacement surgery—which he's since undergone—we had no idea how bad shape the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was in.
Here's how one eyewitness who spotted Joel pre-op described his state...
"He looked so frail, he was struggling to get around, to walk it looked like," says the source one who spotted Joel inside the Sirius satellite offices in New York on Nov. 16. "He had crutches and was moving slowly, kind of dragging them on the ground and grunting. People with him were being very patient, and he was nice and seemed in a good mood, just moving pretty slow."
The 61-year-old "Uptown Girl" crooner was upbeat enough to stay in the building for nearly two hours and give a dynamite interview, where he played on a baby grand piano and sang some of his hits for Stern's audience.
Joel underwent the hip surgery at a Long Island hospital after telling Stern that years of bouncing around stages had taken its toll and Joel "had" to get it over with.
But his prognosis is good. The thrice-divorced Grammy winner should be back on his feet—or at least on a piano bench—soon.