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Billy Joel: ‘Betty Ford Was Like A Concentration Camp’

Billy Joel: ‘Betty Ford Was Like A Concentration Camp’


Rocker BILLY JOEL hated his 2005 stint at the Betty Ford Center in California – because the clinic was like a “concentration camp”.

The Piano Man singer checked into the famous Rancho Mirage rehabilitation clinic in a bid to kick his alcohol dependency and admits the experience was a tough one. He tells Details magazine, “I hated it. It was like a concentration camp – well, I can’t say that, I’ve never been in a concentration camp. But, for me, it was.

“There’s a lot of dogma that goes with it, and there’s the whole AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) thing, and for a lot of people that works. I didn’t necessarily follow that.”

It might not have been the best experience but it helped Joel battle his demons: “It was good. I dried out. And it was probably one of the best things I ever did, because I realized I was just drinking too much, and I really don’t need to do that.

“Once in a blue moon, I’ll have a glass of wine. But I’m very afraid of going beyond that. I don’t want to be out of control.”


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  1. Taminar wrote: That remark is going to get him in a lot of trouble! I’m sure they didn’t starve him at Betty Ford. They didn’t gun down people in front of him. His life was not in danger. He made the choice to go there because he didn’t have the will power to stop boozing it up on his own.

  2. beesknees wrote: Seeing as he’s the son of Jewish immigrants, he obviously does. Doesn’t make his comments less idiotic, though.


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