Only weeks before he hits the big '7-0," Billy Joel says he has no plans to retire. The "Piano Man," who plays tonight (April 26th) at Milwaukee's Miller Park, told Long Island's Newsday that there's actually no good reason for him to call it a day, explaining, "I've become very comfortable with that concept of maybe you just don't retire. Maybe it just keeps going because people want to keep seeing it. And it's a great job. I have a great band. I play great venues. And I make great money. So what's wrong with that?"

Billy admitted that thoughts of retirement briefly crossed his mind upon hitting both 60 and 65 -- but they haven't at 70: "Hopefully, with age comes wisdom. It just seems like it's not so far-fetched to continue to do what you have learned how to do all your life. And it seems like the natural thing to do. If I stopped, I wonder if my not doing something would contribute to an earlier death."

Billy Joel cites his friend, the legendary Tony Bennett as an inspiration for carrying on: "He's 92 and he’s still belting it out and the place went crazy when he came out. I think he's still enjoying it. I saw that and went, 'He's really having a blast.' He says, 'You got to keep the energy going. The audience is giving me this energy and I can't throw that away cause I gotta use that.' And I think there's something to that."

Billy admits that with such a large catalogue, he worries about forgetting his own lyrics from time to time: "I have a TelePrompTer that has all the words, but I try not to look at them because you get hooked like that. If you end up relying on it, then you don't think anymore. So, it's kind of a game to try to remember all the words. I actually look at people in the audience singing and try to read their lips."

Billy Joel has always maintained that he could care less what people think of how he manages his career, his art, or his life: "I gotta tell you -- I've never done anything to be popular. I do it because I like to do it. In 1978, I did the 52nd Street album because that's what I felt like doing. Now you can believe this or not; this is the truth -- I do what I do because I wanna do it, and because I like it, and because it feels good."

AUDIO: BILLY JOEL ON CREATIVE FREEDOM