It’s late January 1974, and inside the studios of Memphis’ FM 100, a young piano-playing singer-songwriter is being interviewed on the air. He’s there to promote a series of concerts he’s playing at Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square, including one that will be broadcast live on the station that night.
The artist — who notes with a chuckle that he hails from Hicksville, Long Island — sounds shy, almost nervous, as the disc jockey, Ron Michaels, asks how he began playing.
“I started taking classical piano when I was about 4,” says Billy Joel. “I’m 24 now, so I’ve been playing about 20 years.”
“Aw,” says Michaels, “you’re just a kid.”
“Am I?” replies Joel, already feeling like a world-weary veteran after years of record deals and roadwork that have yielded only minor success. “I’m glad you said that, man.”
Read more at The Commercial Appeal.
Billy Joel plays FedExForum Friday, March 25. But his music will be heard all over Overton Square Friday on what the entertainment district is calling Billy Joel Day.
Lafayette’s, 2119 Madison Ave., will feature ticket giveaways to the Friday concert as well as a big screen to show videos of Joel concert footage. Piano players at the Zebra Lounge will take Billy Joel song requests Friday evening and the square’s outdoor sound system will play Joel songs throughout the day.
Read more at the Memphis Daily News.
Top Photo: Billy Joel’s 1974 concert at Lafayette’s Music Room. Photo by Joe Spake