The Squawking Chicken called it all along that the Year of the Open Mouth Tiger would bring the drama. It’s come in the form of natural disasters, international conflict, digital warfare, economic crises, and much, much more. My mother, who is of the Tiger sign, had a rough one herself. She forgot to get a blessing from the contrarian temple even though she had advance notice that the year would try her. And it’s been one health problem after another. And two ghosts won’t leave her alone. This was the crazy story she told me on the phone last week. Making a mental note to relay this to you when there’s a good segue.

Anyway, remember, the Tiger is not over yet. The Tiger won’t be over until the first day of the Year of the Rabbit on Friday, February 4th. So stay vigilant. Because she’s not done.

The White Stripes are splitting up. Halle Berry is going nuclear on her baby daddy. And Elton John is bitchtalking his friend Billy Joel.

Elton covers the new issue of Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone may not be what it once was – there’s a great compilation of some of the most iconic interviews in a book called The Rolling Stone Interviews 1967 – 1980: The Classic Oral History of Rock and Roll – Introduction by Ben Fong-Torres that as a music lover you HAVE to add to your library if you can find it. Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison, Van Morrison, so many of them. I’ve read and re-read the one with James Taylor and Carly Simon. Obsessed. And you realise too – they were so much more candid then. They were f-cked up and drugged out, but the access was such that they were allowed to speak in their own space. Made for some fascinating discussions.

Anyway, it’s definitely not now the way it was, no. But Rolling Stone does still offer up some of the best interviews by comparison in these times. The reticence recedes, a little, for Rolling Stone.

Which must have been why Elton felt free to publicly admonish Billy Joel for being a lazy drunk:

“(Billy’s) going to hate me for this, but every time he goes to rehab they’ve been light [on him]. 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. Billy, you have your demons and you’re not going to get rid of them at rehab light. At the end of the day, he’s coasting. 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 cancelled tours because of illnesses and various other things, alcoholism.”

Naturally, this is the part of the interview that’s getting the most play.

As for Billy’s response – he wasn’t as sharp but it’s a little bit of a brush-off:

“I’ve worked with Elton for such a long time and I’ve enjoyed our relationship too much to let something as random as these comments change my affection for him.” (Source Gossip Cop)

Come now. Piano-off, straight up. Which I have to say, I do love this visual. Pounding key rebuttals, freestyle lyrics, crescendo, crescendo…then Lady Gaga, with her baby grand, is lowered from the sky to broker peace. It’s a new opera.

PS. This cover is too much. When I first saw it, I was like – is that Mrs Doubtfire?