Billy Joel Defends Taylor Swift Against the ‘Snoots’ of NYC–Is He Right?

Nov 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm |

Billy Joel In Concert - New York, NY

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Is it a surprise that New Yorkers are being snobbish about Taylor Swift being used as the poster girl for tourism in their city? Not at all. Should they get over it? Billy Joel says yes.

In coordination with the release of her latest album, 1989, Taylor Swift was labeled by NYC & Company as the city’s Global Welcome Ambassador for Tourism.

Of course there was major backlash to the unofficial knighting of Taylor. The pop-culture queen is a native of Pennsylvania who hasn’t even lived in the city for very long.

The Village Voice‘s David Colon, for example, wrote about his distaste for her NY theme song and the appointment:

“‘Welcome to New York’ celebrates as generic, flat, and lifeless a New York as has ever existed in pop culture. Think about the song, and try to pick out a single detail about the city. You can’t. Replace ‘New York’ in the lyrics with ‘Des Moines,’ with ‘L.A.,’ with ‘Pittsburgh,’ any city you can shoehorn into the beat, and you wouldn’t have to change a single detail. Taylor Swift’s idea of New York is as boring as any rich, sheltered person’s idea about it, but the difference is that most of them don’t get to sing about it.”

Billy Joel however begs the city’s inhabitants to cool their jets.”You snoots. Let her in. That’s what New York is all about. I say, ‘Welcome,'” Joel said to USA Today.

The city needs to keep in mind that this is a marketing campaign–it doesn’t mean that the city is suddenly wholly defined by the image Taylor Swift, it just means that she might be the most effective tool to bring as much tourism and money into the city as possible, an industry that brings over 54 million people in to visit each year.

“I think she’s a talented songwriter.” Joel adds–who was born in the Bronx and has written his fair share of NYC love-lyrics. “She catches a lot of junk maybe because she’s so popular with young girls. But I like what she’s projecting. I respect what she’s doing.”


Do you agree with Billy Joel’s point of view on TayTay’s new role in marketing for NYC tourism? Click here!