Lloyd Bishop/NBCAs one of pop’s most famous piano players, Billy Joel has certainly “tickled the ivories” many times, but he doesn’t want his keyboard to be made of actual ivory.
A bill is currently pending in the New York State Senate that would severely restrict the sale of items made of ivory and rhinoceros horns, and toughens penalties against those who illegally trade in these materials. Billy, an animal lover and friend of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, posted a note on his website saying that he “wholeheartedly supports” the bill.
“I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists. But a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day,” he writes. “There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys. But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.”
“Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species,” he adds. “Music should be a celebration of life — not an instrument of death.”
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