Just for fun, check out this previously unreleased demo of Billy Joel leading his band through a reggae version of “Only the Good Die Young“, no doubt in tribute to the popularity of Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1977 when Billy Joel’s The Stranger was recorded. You can find it on the excellent My […]
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OK, pop quiz: who is runner-up to Elvis Presley as the top album seller singer in America? It’s Billy Joel, the unofficial mayor of New York City who, unlike Bill De Blasio and Michael Bloomberg, is not term limited but holds that distinction for life! Superstar musicians in that rarefied league ( and many more […]
This timeless 1976 performance of soon-to-be classic “New York State of Mind” serves as proof positive that, even before his 1977 blockbuster “The Stranger” brought him to mass popularity, Billy Joel was a terrific live entertainer with a superb band.
For some reason this song never became memorable to me when the original studio recording was released in Fall 1977 on Billy Joel‘s The Stranger album. Yet when I remastered the live version from the oft-bootlegged December 1977 concert at his home venue Nassau Long Island Coliseum, it’s bossa nova vamping in the choruses of […]
You do not have to be a native New Yorker to be in a” New York state of mind” each year on September 11.
Billy Joel took a big risk in March 1980 by following blockbusters The Stranger and 52nd Street with the surprisingly stripped down garage rock arrangements of Glass Houses. But lest you get the wrong idea, it was the approach by Billy Joel that was lean, not the material. Some of his best songs are here, […]
It was just the stuff of fantasy, until suddenly there they were, “Face 2 Face” on one stage: Billy Joel, the honorary mayor without term limits of New York City, sharing the Meadowlands stage with the incomparable Elton John! Billy gives us the skinny (tie) on that song along with the #1-selling Grammy Album of […]
William Martin Billy Joel has sold more albums in the U.S. than any pop/rock singer except for Elvis Presley. Superstar musicians in that rarified league ( and many more only pretenders to it ) always surround themselves with gaggles of managers, “minders”, assistants, agents, and promoters , and the size of the entourage doubles when […]
As Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton told me of first experiencing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s extraordinary guitar talent from outside an Austin nightclub , I had to smile . Like Chris , I had not actually seen the young blues guitarist the first time I heard him play live , but the memory is burned into my mind . It was February 4 , 1984 as I was anchoring the live network broadcast interviews of the myriad of performers at the annual Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam backstage at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium . Over ten years the Volunteer Jam had grown into an annual pilgrimage by the biggest names then in American rock music , featuring in one night the Charlie Daniels Band , the Marshall Tucker Band , Lynyrd Skynyrd , the Allman Brothers Band, Molly Hatchet , the Outlaws , plus Billy Joel ,Emmylou Harris , and Ted Nugent !
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