just four and a half months apart, and just an hour's
drive outside of New York City, Billy Joel (May 9, 1949,
Levittown, Long Island) and Bruce Springsteen (September
23, 1949, Freehold, New Jersey) both have been highly
influenced by the working class families and towns they
grew up in and the laid-back artistic genius of their
shared ruling planet: Venus.
Joel’s and Springsteen's Sun signs (Taurus and Libra,
respectively) are ruled by (associated with) Venus, and
both men also have the Moon in Libra. So what kind of
effect does a strong Venus influence have on a person's
chart? Well, it brings great artistic talent (check!),
as well as a tendency to make big moves slowly. Neither
musician is the "album a year" type, and Springsteen is
notorious for taking years to perfect an album's sound
in the studio.
is also the most romantic of all planets. It dictates
how we love and what we find beautiful. It can also make
a strong Venus person a sucker for beauty: both men were
married to models in the '80s.
and fairness are driving forces in the lives of "heavy
Venus" types. Bruce Springsteen has spent his entire career
writing story-songs about how the working poor have been
shunted to the back burner in the rich United States of
Joel was the first major pop singer to play concerts in
the former Soviet Union after the Cold War ended. In interviews,
he has spoken about how amazing it was to watch people
who had never been exposed to American pop rock out. Other
musicians were hesitant to tour there so soon after the
fall of the Berlin wall. These guys don't just talk the
talk of fairness. They walk the walk.
Back To Their Musical Roots...At 50
is an incredible time of growth and childlike wonder for
Joel and Springsteen, both of whom turned fifty in 1999.
Joel played a widely-telecast millennium concert on New
Year's Eve at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The Boss did his first international concert tour in seven
years in 1999, and he’s back to tour the states again
Returns to Classical Music
even with all the expected commercial success of rock
albums and stadium concerts, each man is returning to
his youthful roots when it comes to songwriting and composing.
Joel has announced that he has no plans to do another
pop album. Instead, he has been writing classical romantic
compositions, similar to the music he first played while
learning the piano as a child.
those early 1960s years, when Joel was fighting off bullies
(he literally had to learn to box to keep the tough guys
who did not appreciate classical music away!), Saturn
was transiting the young musician's natal Jupiter. Jupiter
is the planet of good luck and expansion. It gives us
more than we could possibly need, while Saturn is the
planet of discipline and hard work.
certainly could not have realized at the time how much
his hard work and practice (qualities of Saturn) would
pay off (and generous Jupiter likes to pay off in a big
way). In the late '90s, when Joel had firmly decided to
return to his classical roots, Neptune, a planet often
associated with music and a mystical, distinctly non-verbal
quality, began to move through the early degrees of Aquarius,
where Joel's Jupiter is, helping to bring him full circle
to his classical beginnings.
Returns to Folk
who was hailed as a successor to Bob Dylan after the 1973
release of his first album Greetings From Asbury
Park, N.J., is moving more deeply into folk music,
very similar in style and substance to Dylan's major influence,
Woody Guthrie. Bruce's last album of original music,
The Ghost of Tom Joad, was a pure folk record
that took its theme from the John Steinbeck novel The
Grapes of Wrath, about the morbid fate
of a family of migrant workers in California during the
Bruce was writing the songs for his first folk-tinged
album in the early '70s, Pluto, the planet of self-transformation,
was in Libra, his Sun, Moon and Mercury sign. When perusing
the wordy (Mercury!) lyrics of some of those classic tunes,
one can't help but notice that the focus of the stories
was on Bruce himself, and the characters in his own little
An intense Pluto transit like this one, which touched
his Sun (essential self), Neptune and Moon (emotional
self), naturally made the Boss deeply introspective. In
addition, Neptune, the planet of imagination, is conjunct
his Moon, the planet of emotions, in thoughtful Libra,
so he's prone to be introspective and hyper-articulate
twenty years later, when Tom Joad was released
(in 1995), Pluto had moved into Sagittarius, a sign that
is often thought to be wild and adventurous in youth,
only to grow up to be a philosopher and fighter for justice
in its older years. Sounds an awful lot like Springsteen,
During this period, Pluto was making a sextile (smooth,
helpful angle) to all of his Libra (sign of fairness)
planets. A sextile is not nearly as personal and "in your
face" as a conjunction (when a planet is in the same sign
and at a close degree as another planet in your chart),
which probably helped to make Springsteen detached enough
to write about more worldly issues like poverty and racism,
as he did on Tom Joad.
Next For Billy and The Boss?
Jupiter and reliable Saturn will both be exactly conjunct
(in the same sign and degree) Billy Joel's Venus in June,
2000. Perhaps that means wedding bells for the divorced,
but still passionately romantic, singer. At the very least,
expansive Jupiter promises a honeymoon-like traveling
experience with the lady in Joel's life, or perhaps a
world tour for his classical music!
for Bruce, Jupiter will be conjunct his Uranus (planet
of progress and abrupt change) in August, 2001. Springsteen's
Uranus is in Cancer, sign of the family, so perhaps the
change and progress will take place on the homefront with
his wife, bandmate and mother of his three children, Patti
Scialfa. The Boss might take a younger musician under
his wing (be a father figure, Cancer), change his residence
or have another child! Perhaps he'll produce his singer
wife's next album (the Sun and Mercury will be conjunct
her Leo Sun and Mercury at that time, too).
they do, both Joel and Springsteen's true natures, as romantic,
gentle, artistic Venus men (beneath the rough Long Island and Jersey
exteriors!) are bound to come through again and again in their lives
and in their beautiful, and beautifully-crafted music.