Elton John recently sat down with Rolling Stone to reminisce on his 40 years in the business and the knighted new dad eventually got around to talking about the troubles of his longtime pal (at least, he was a pal before the interview) and former touring partner Billy Joel.
So in case anyone was wondering, yes, John is clearly a graduate of the school of tough love.
"At the end of the day, he's coasting," John said of Joel. "I always say, 'Billy, can't you write another song?' It's either fear or laziness. It upsets me. Billy's a conundrum. We've had so many canceled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism."
And seeing as how he already went there, John decided to just keep on going.
"He's going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they've been light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors. He goes to rehab where they have TVs. I love you, Billy, and this is tough love."
He continued to address his friend.
"Billy, you have your demons and you're not going to get rid of them at rehab light. You've got to be serious. People adore you, they love you, and respect you. You should be able to do something better than what you're doing now."
Harsh, sure, but John knows of what he speaks. In addition to being open about his own history of addiction, the singing legend has also publicly mentored Eminem through his struggles.
As for Joel, he wasted no time in commenting on John's assessment, releasing a statement that simply read, "Elton is just being Elton."
So, not a fan of the tough love, then.