Leave it to Joel to love his bride just the way she is -- half his age

October 11, 2004|By KEVIN COWHERD

I SEE WHERE Billy Joel, the Piano Man himself, just got married for the third time in a traditional ceremony at his sprawling Long Island estate -- well, traditional in the sense that everyone spent the entire time ducking the paparazzi.

Big deal, you say.

Celebrities like Billy Joel are always getting married for the third time. These people go through marriages the way the rest of us go through socks.

OK, fine. But this time, Joel, who's 55, married a 23-year-old named Katie Lee. Which means she's only five years older than his daughter, Alexa Ray.

Talk about robbing the cradle -- that's robbing the incubator.

So what? you say. Rich and famous guys are always marrying women far younger than themselves.

Look at Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, you say.

Look at Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

Look at crazy old Tony Randall -- may he rest in peace -- who married a woman 50 years younger than him before he kicked the bucket at 84.

This stuff's been going on forever, you say. In fact, you say, we're seeing more and more of the reverse now: rich, powerful women with younger men.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. Cher and whichever pool boy she's fooling around with these days.

OK, fine. But it still makes you wonder, doesn't it? After all, this is a 32-year age gap between Billy Joel and Katie Lee.

Thirty-two years!

What could they possibly have in common? You know, what do they talk about?

Look, you say, this isn't about talk.

If Billy Joel wants to talk to somebody, he can talk to his manager. Or his publicist. Or the gardener. Or the chauffeur.

Billy Joel didn't marry this babe so they could discuss the Israeli-Palestinian situation, you say.

He married her because she's young, she's a knockout, she makes him feel good.

And at the end of the evening, she doesn't say: "Not tonight, honey. I have to get up early with the kids."

OK, fine. But there has to be something more to this relationship than youth and beauty and head-spinning sex, doesn't there?

What if they're sitting around the dinner table one day and Billy Joel starts reminiscing about the Beatles and what a tremendous influence they were on his music back in '64 when he first saw them?

Can Katie Lee relate to something like that?

What're the good old days for her?

An 'N Sync concert back in 2000?

Look, you say, you're way too hung up on this talking and relating stuff in this marriage.

Besides, you say, this is Billy Joel and his new bride we're talking about here.

They're not like, you know, real people. They're celebrities, for God's sake!

If 55-year-old Joe Sixpack in your town married a 23-year-old, sure, you'd figure him for some kind of pathetic lowlife, right?

Maybe even a pervert.

But with celebrities, all the rules are different, you say.

A Hollywood geezer could date someone in middle school and no one would bat an eyelash.

OK, fine. But I happen to be a big fan of Billy Joel's and I just hope this marriage actually lasts for a while and doesn't go down in flames, like so many celebrity marriages.

Look, you say, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.

"Til death do you part" -- that's just like, you know, a metaphor.

There's probably a prenuptial agreement in place that's thicker than the Long Island phone book, you say.

There's an army of lawyers ready to descend like timber wolves if either party so much as slams a door in anger, never mind actually mentions divorce.

If the marriage goes south, you say, Billy cuts her a check and says bye-bye.

Then he starts looking around for some other young thing to have on his arm when he goes to parties and concerts and movie premieres.

That's just the way things are done with the rich and famous, you say.

Boy, are you cynical.

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