This past week I was able to hear an interview with one of music's most awesome piano players as well as a great song writer. The Howard Stern show on Sirius satellite radio had Billy Joel as a guest. For almost 2 hours, Billy sat at a piano and talked with Howard and told stories, as well as played some of his best songs.
He talked about being young and going to piano lessons where his teacher would teach him Sonata by Mozart. When he went home to practice it, he would play the first part, but then write a new second part. A musical genius at an early age. At the age 14, he played on the demo of the original recording of Leader of the Pack. He played Captain Jack and Say Goodbye to Hollywood. He played Scenes From An Italian Restaurant and told a story about how he came up with New York State of Mind in a matter of minutes.
One of his favorite artists is Steve Winwood. He said he loved how he always seems to play the right note then proceeded to play Dear Mister Fantasy. He played parts of the Golden Slumbers medley of the Beatles Abbey Road album and said that Paul Macartney had told him those were a couple of unfinished songs put together. This is where Billy got his idea for Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. My favorite song he played was Just the Way You Are. All in all Howard and Robin seemed to ask good questions and request some great songs.
What treat it was to hear Billy and his piano and his stories. I was real glad I got to hear it. And a great shout out to Howard Stern. He is one of the best interviewers out there. He always gets people to talk honestly and openly.
November 23, 2010