Scott Morrison is the Billy Joel of Australian politics – a hollow master of pastiche | Peter Lewis
As the air starts escaping from the Morrison government’s zeppelin of public good will, my mind keeps turning to a fresh take on the career of the quintessential piano man, Billy Joel.
In a terrific podcast, Slate’s Chris Molanphy posits why Joel, with the possible exception of Stevie Wonder, has the largest gap between his best and worst work. To Molanphy, it all comes down to a simple truth: the Piano Man was the master of pastiche.
Joel wrote a mean melody but could only ever attach it to an existing musical trend. From Rat Pack to Motown, from Queen to REM, from a Vienna waltz to an Irish shanty; if you liked the genre, then Billy Joel would scratch your itch. But Joel never created anything that could move music forward; rather than an enduring legacy, the Piano Man is left to serve up his disjointed canon as the regular crowd shuffles in.
Stay with me and think about pastiche,…