Billy Joel: “Piano Man”

ALBUM: Piano Man

YEAR: 1973

WRITER: Billy Joel

Joel’s first single, it peaked at number-25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” came out of his experiences during his six months playing at an L.A. bar called the Executive Room. In a late ’90s question-and-answer session, he was asked if John, the bartender in the song, was from Long Island like he is. “The guy behind the bar, I think he was from out west somewhere. He was this big, rangy guy. He looked kind of like Tom Selleck. He looked like Tom. He was, y’know, a big, good looking guy and kind of ruddy- faced, but I think he had an accent like that and nobody from my neighborhood talked like that.”

Billy Joel celebrates his 68th birthday today.


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