He hung up his spurs (did he ever wear them?) in '93, forever swearing off pop and rock music - perhaps too much personal pain - eschewing those low-culture genres to pursue his vocation as a classical music composer.

But Downtown Man Billy Joel, who became every awkward boy's hero in '83 when he won over Christie Brinkley, the world's most desirous yet so-very-pure supermodel (such a clean smile; such clean, virtuous skin!). He won his Uptown Girl not by acting like a brainless Hercules but through art, with a transformative piece called "Uptown Girl."

Now 57, Joel is releasing his first pop tune in 14 years, "All My Life," which he wrote as a valentine for his wife of three years, food writer Katie Lee Joel, who hosted the first season of Top Chef. (The song will be posted on People.com on Wednesday and on iTunes beginning Feb. 20.)

Hey, glutton, don't expect any more: Joel told Newsday this is the only song he's finished since his '93 album River of Dreams.

Idolatrous shocker?


Crazed gossipmongerings and murmurings this week around a claim by Courtney Love that she was entreated by American Idol exec producer Nigel Lythgoe to join Idol as a judge. (Love said Nigel's offer was "weird but brilliant.") This led to idle talk that Nigel wants to put Love in the place of the sometimes crazy-acting "Crazy Love" singer, Paula Abdul.

For months, Abdul's quite strange, jerky puppetlike movements and side-to-side swaying and her gibberishy slurrings have fueled cruel speculation she's on booze or drugs.

But no matter, Nigel yesterday released a statement to Us, saying Courtney fell for a prank: "I did not call Courtney Love, and am afraid someone may have misrepresented me. Courtney Love is a very talented artist, but the judges for American Idol are Paula, Randy and Simon. We have no plans to add to or replace any of them."

Brit's trash

Just how desperate do gossip writers get? Us Weekly has published the receipt from a recent supermarket run by

Britney Spears

(did the writer fish it out of the trash?), touting it as cool news. And, oh, is it. Items include:

Hot dogs . . . $4.19

Bib (for baby or adult?) . . . $3.99

Pampers Easy-ups . . . $10.79

Spears' musical gift to the world?


The pugilist & the Lindsay

Celeb news site PerezHilton.com is, like,

Mike Tyson

has checked himself into the same four-star rehab as

Lindsay Lohan


Will they spar? (What an unbelievably cool spectacle that'd make. . . . ) Will Mr. Tyson take a bite out of the girlie-girl pugilist's delicate physique? (Would anything be left of Lindsay if Iron Mike took a Holyfield-ear-sized chunk?)

(More disturbing still: Will Mike and Lindsay hold, encourage and cherish one another - will they hug 'n' cry together in group therapy?)

Jen's radical nose job

I already explained the real reason for her rhinoplasty last week. Now

Jennifer Aniston

is catching up: She tells People she


get a nose job, as the tabloids have feverishly speculated for weeks - some even said she was going under the knife for a breast implant, too. (Was there a twofer sale?) But Jen's procedure, to correct a deviated septum, isn't cosmetic: It helps you sleep better, avoid sinus pain and infections.

"I slept like a baby for the first time in years," she said. "As far as all the other [rumors], as boring as it sounds, it's still mine. All of it."

The it, I venture, refers not only to the schnoz or the bosom, but both. "I really am pretty happy with what God gave me," Jen said.

Is it real, or is it celluloid?

From the Too Much Information Desk comes this titillating ickety yuck: The New York Daily News says

Factory Girl


Sienna Miller


Hayden Christensen

had real, actual sex on camera for a love scene, which, you ought to know, is usually simulated in movies. Will this bit of whoopee make the film, which is about

Andy Warhol

's Factory set, including that ghostly beauty,

Edie Sedgwick

, who's played by Sienna?

Seems young Darth Vader has been quite smitten with Jude Law's broken ex-belle, who eventually spurned the young American for yet another failed attempt to work it out with Jude.

Factory director George Hickenlooper was all "I can't comment" about the alleged genuineness of the sex scene.

Miller's animal soul

Meanwhile, Sienna deflects criticism for some very


an statements that landed her in hot water in October, when she told Rolling Stone "monogamy is . . . It's an overrated virtue, because, let's face it we're all . . . animals."

Appearing on Access Hollywood (for a segment to air tonight), Sienna tells cohost Billy Bush she was textually decontextualized most foul. She goes on to recontextualize: "I said that although monogamy is something I hugely aspire to and respect . . . it is something that society has placed upon us and it's not always easy to be. I'm a very monogamous person."

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com. Inquirer wire services contributed to this column.