Keep The Memory Alive...

2016 retrospective

with JK Simmons, Mark Rivera and Jimmy Fallon
‘The Longest Time’ on The Tonight Show (during the commercial break)

Back from Jan 15th to Feb 14th

22nd Jan 2016, Tampa:
In tribute to Glenn Frey who died 18th January 2016
In tribute to David Bowie who died 10th January 2016

advert in The NY Times

Feb 8th

Feb 8th
Shared on facebook on Feb 13th, a video of Billy playing the keyboard while a student from Long Island High School For The Arts sings ‘Moondance’ (© Van Morrison)

‘All About Soul’
Feb 13th with Dhani Juan and Itzhak Pearlman
Dhani Juan performing on ‘The Downeaster Alexa’
Billy Joel reference on Family Guy - S14E13 ( February 14, 2016 ) "An App a Day"
22nd Feb 2016: as part of the Broadway Sings Billy Joel concert at Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, New York, NYC
The concert included Erich Bergen (Jersey Boys), Lilla Crawford (Annie), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Mark Evans (Book of Mormon), Alexa Green (Wicked), Arielle Jacobs (In the Heights), Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages), Grasan Kingsberry (The Color Purple), Brennyn Lark (Les Misérables), Aaron Lavigne (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark), Corey Mach (Hands on a Hardbody), Julia Mattison (Godspell), Ginna Claire Mason (Wicked), Sydney Morton (American Psycho), Jake Odmark (Kinky Boots), Rachel Potter (Evita), Jed Resnick (Avenue Q), Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia), Adam Roberts (Spider-Man), Brandon Rubendall (Anything Goes), and Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture).
14 year-old actress, Lilla Crawford ‘Vienna’
stage actress Arielle Jacobs ‘Lullabye’ ****
Brennyn Lark ‘Movin' Out’ ****
song writer and actress Rachel Potter ‘Miami 2017’ ***
Natalie Weiss ‘For the Longest Time’ ***
Ginna Claire Mason ‘She's Got A Way’ *
Christine Dwyer & Jed Resnick ‘Scenes From An Italian Restaurant’
Erich Bergen’s medley ‘I've Loved These Days’ ‘Keeping The Faith’ ‘Only The Good Die Young’ **
Mitchell Jarvis ‘And So It Goes’ ***
Mark Evans ‘This Is the Time’
Julia Mattison ‘Captain Jack’
Grasan Kingsberry ‘The River of Dreams’ *
Zak Resnick ‘New York State of Mind’
Alexa Green & Aaron LaVigne ‘Just The Way You Are’
Sydney Morton ‘It's Still Rock and Roll to Me’
Corey Mach ‘She's Always a Woman’ *
Joshua Stephen Kartes ‘Piano Man’
Apollo Link ‘This Night’ & ‘Uptown Girl’
24th Feb 2016

Mar 15th at MSG Alexa, Ryan Gleason, Claire Mercuri, Alexis, Andrew Cuomo, Teresa Zampino

"The FedExForum … I can relate; I fed ex number 1, fed ex number 2, ex number 3."
Billy once followed a concert date at The Pyramid with a jam session on Beale Street. 
March 15th

30th March 2016
How many Billy Joel song titles can you spot in this recap of a basketball match at MSG?

1st April 2016
Billy, among the musicians who are fighting piracy

April 2016: Nigel Adams, Conservative elected Member of Parliament in London, quotes ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’
‘The River of Dreams' / 'Hang on Sloopy (O-H-I-O!)’

Taylor Swift on April 29th
In tribute to the artist Prince who died on 21st April ‘1999’ /
‘Viva Las Vegas’
 (© Doc Pomus, Mort Shuman. Recorded by Elvis Presley)

‘The River of Dreams’ + ‘Take It Easy’

‘Purple Haze’ (© Jimi Hendrix – born in Seattle)
‘The Boys of Summer’ (© Don Henley, Mike Capbell)
May 27th at MSG
‘Goodnight Saigon’ with members of the United States military (Fleet Week)
(Billy again thanking each member of the US military who sang  ‘Goodnight Saigon’ on stage with him
The team at Madison Square Garden replaced Billy Joel's banner in the rafters to celebrate his unprecedented 75th concert at Madison Square Garden

May 27th 'We Didn't Start The Fire'

Billy's reply (May 28th 2016)
May 2016 Irish jig - Part of a Kieran Quinn Theme Night, in Sligo (west of Ireland) last May - "3 sold out nights, 1000 people saw the show, 120 performers involved including an orchestra and a choir, 28 fantastic pieces of music courtesy of Billy Joel and Elton John"

‘Zanzibar’ was dedicated to Muhammad Ali who died on June 3rd 2016. The lyrics starts with the words “Ali dances and the audience applauds, though he's bathed in sweat he hasn't lost his style…”
June 17th at MSG:
Dedication to the people of Orlando after the senseless massacre of June 12th, 2016
‘You’re Only Human (Second Wind)’
June 17th: Billy whistled ‘The River Kwai March’ before playing  ‘The Downeaster Alexa’
‘The River of Dreams’ & ‘Surfin’ USA’
(© Brian Wilson, Chuck Berry)
June 17th ^ performing 'Uptown Girl'
montage ‘Movin’ Out’ + snippet of ‘Honesty’ + ‘Piano Man’
June 17th backstage: Alexis & Alexa
June 17th with Denis Handlin (chair of Australian recording industry association & CEO of Sony Music) and Alexa
June 17th backstage at MSG, with Ariel Fung (Sony Music Asia), John Parker, Denis Handlin and Tony Glover 
June 17th backstage at MSG, with Gene Cornish (of The Rascals) and singer Nick Jonas
June 24th, Billy performed with tribute band Big Shot (fronted by Billy’s band member Mike DelGuidice), at The Paramount, Huntington, Long Island, NY ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ (Joe Cocker style) (© Lennon, McCartney) ‘Honky Tonk Women’ (© Jagger, Richards) ‘Rock’n’Roll’ (© Led Zeppelin)
June 24th, with intro, but bad sound
‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ + ’Honky Tonk Women’ + ‘You May Be Right’
June 2016: interview of Billy by Governor & Godfather Andrew Cuomo
(see 4 pics below)

News item:
“New York's governor will ride alongside music icon Billy Joel in a state-wide motorcycle ride to raise awareness about breast cancer before signing legislation that expands access to screenings for the disease. Andrew Cuomo will begin his ride Monday morning at Sunken Meadow Park on Long Island. From there, the Democratic governor will ride alongside his girlfriend, Food Network star and breast cancer survivor Sandra Lee, and the Piano Man himself.” 
27th June 2016 ^ with Sandra Lee and her partner, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, at the motorcycle ride for breast cancer screening awareness and the signing of a new Bill
June 27th with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Sandra Lee
“Mr Long Island himself” (speech and expression of gratitude to Billy for taking part at Sunken Meadow State Park )
June 27th: News report with Billy talking briefly about Andrew Cuomo @ 1:08
June 27th: Billy’s motorcycle featured a gas tank emblazoned with an old State Police logo. billy explained that the motorcycle was a Kawasaki that underwent a “retro-restoration” to look like an older State Police cruiser.
Billy fending off the flirting without any make-up on @ 2:40
June 27th: Setting out for the ride @ 1:19  

“I think it’s a great Bill, everybody’s telling me what a great Bill I am… This is a very good Bill”
Billy @ 2min-4:40, 6:37-6:59, 9:17-10min with Billy’s short speech, 13:19, and ending with the signing of the bill and Billy getting a pen 

July 1st with guest Kenny Chesney on ‘You May Be Right’ 
With Charlie Puth who opened the show on July 1st

Billboard July issue
Billy signed this open letter to the US Congress, “to help seek a sane and safe end to gun violence” 

“We only do that song in this town anymore… You’re sick and twisted people. But we like it...” ‘Captain Jack’
July 9th (4 pics)

July 9th with Christina Perry and band

Another Billy Joel reference? Episode 3 of Season 5 of TV series Arrow to be called "A Matter of Trust"

Actor Kevin James did a little dance on stage, while Billy's roadie Chainsaw sang 'Highway to Hell'
July 20th, Billy presented a cake to Tony Bennett backstage at MSG
Ahead of Tony’s 90th birthday, Billy got the crowd at MSG to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ after the two duetted on ‘New York State of Mind’
(see December further down for NBC video)
(happy birthday, Tony was born Aug 3rd)
This section of the concert was filmed to be used by NBC for a special show "Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come," featuring Billy and other stars - to be broadcast on December 20th  2016 and to coincide with the release of the new album “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” (the live duet recorded July 20th being the version of ‘NYSOM’ on the album)
‘Movin’ Out’ + ‘Goodnight Saigon’ + ‘Allentown’ + snippet of Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight + ‘New York State of Mind’ + ‘I Go To Extremes’ + ‘She’s Always A Woman’
July 30th
July 30th
July 30th with Charlie Puth

July issue
Russian violinist, Aleksey Igudesman, joined Billy on stage for ‘The Downeaster Alexa’

Would this Boston kid be invited on stage?
Bradley Barlett-Roche’s medley of Billy’s songs

‘Pressure’ + ‘Dirty Water’ (© Ed Cobb for The Standells) + ‘My Life’
'Sweet Caroline' courtesy of Mike DelGuidice & Fenway Park (© Neil Diamond)
Yes, 13 year old ‪Boston Piano Kid did join Billy on stage for ‘Root Beer Rag’ /
August 18th with Bradley Bartlett-Roche, The Boston Piano Kid
Bradley's shoes
August 18th
‘Big Shot’

August 18th

22nd August 2016: Toots Thielemans passed away aged 94.
Toots recorded a harmonica instrumental version of 'Honesty' in Japan in 1979.
He played harmonica on the studio recording of ‘Leave A Tender Moment Alone.’
With Billy at Wembley Arena, London, in 1984
Toots's instrumental version of ‘Leave A Tender Moment Alone’ on Letterman 
Billy joined Toots at his 80th birthday celebration at The Blue Note in NY, in 2002 -here are 3 tracks from that gig (JTWYA, NYSOM and ‘One For My Baby’)
‘My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)’
‘Big Man On Mulberry Street’
‘Scenes From An Italian Restaurant’
Darth Joel, the Dark Side + ‘Piano Man’

29th August: Billy has donated his 57-foot yacht, Vendetta, to the International Seakeepers Society

Opening track ‘Miami 2017’
Full review, setlist and links to all the performances of that night in the post Pretty Good Crowd For A Saturday
While in London, Billy also gave a long interview to Jamie Cullum for BBC Radio 2 - it was broadcast in December (see further down)

“Due to endoscopic sinus surgery, Billy Joel will reschedule his upcoming September 30th concert at Madison Square Garden to November 21st 2016. The procedure will require him to rest his voice and avoid any strenuous activity. With several weeks of rest, Billy is expected to make a full recovery.
Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden residency will resume as scheduled on October 28, 2016. In December 2013, Billy Joel became the first-ever music franchise of The World’s Most Famous Arena. He currently holds both of The Garden’s concert-related performance records – for Longest Run of Any Artist, which he continues to break each month during his residency, and for Most Number of Performances By Any Artist.”

Kevin James wants Billy to appear on his new sitcom, set and filmed on Long Island:

Marching season
Back from Oct 4th to Nov 1st on sirius xm on Channel 18 (satellite) + online + with SiriusXM app. With new exclusive stories. 
I’m probably one of those artists who should be heard and not seen. So, I hope I was worth it,” is what Billy said.
7th – 8th October: The two-day symposium at Colorado College: “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me: The Music And Lyrics Of Billy Joel” cost $20 and attracted nearly 400 people.
The event was chaired by Morgan Jones, a high school music teacher from Swaziland, and Joshua Duchan, an assistant professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, who has written the upcoming book: "Billy Joel: America's Piano Man.”
It included: an interactive gallery with memorabilia on display;
over 30 presentations, round tables and workshops (with titles such as  "Billy Joel is Not My Lover" by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer from the University of Toronto, "Working-Class Masculinity and Martyrdom in the Music of Billy Joel: An Autoethnographic Exploration" by Bernard Armada from the University of St Thomas and "Behind the Nylon Curtain: Revealing Billy Joel's Inner Beatle" by Jeremie Michael from Florida State University, “Billy Joel and the Language of Pecuniary Aspiration,” “The Gendered and Physical Embodiment of Interpreting Billy Joel in American Sign Language,” “Jesus and Billy Joel: A Musicotheology,” “Your Special Island: Locality, Nostalgia, and the Suburban Blues in Billy Joel’s New York Songs” by Heather Laurel of the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation), how Billy developed the verses on his 1989 album Storm Front, with guests from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, how best to admit to liking Billy Joel…);
a documentary screening of  "A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia" with pre- and post-film discussions;
a live phone interview with Billy: "Take the Phone off the Hook" (symposium presenters asked Billy questions over the phone on the Saturday at 4:45pm)
and concert : Billy’s music arranged by various musicians, including the CC Chamber Chorus and Guitar Ensemble and Jim Bosse who was in the bands The Echoes / The Lost Souls / The Commandos with Billy (see post Just The Way They Were )
14th October:
“My opponent is either impotent or is simply not trying, because everyone loves Billy Joel,” states Hart, NY politician, who wants to erect a one-million marble statue of Billy Joel.

Opening track ‘The Stranger’
‘Through The Long Night’

With a skull as a mascot on his piano, Billy kept a Hallowe’en theme going all night
“This is our Halloween show,” + theme from The Exorcist
at 47m53s snippet of the Eagles song ‘Witchy Woman’
at 1h1m20s Warren Zevon’s ‘Werewolves of London’ (4 min)
at 1h11m11s snippets Night on Bald Mountain* + theme from Jaws (* used in Fantasia and The Wizard of Oz)
October 28th, Billy talking about getting dressed up as Dracula for a school dance
The Addams Family theme tune + ‘Vienna’
‘The River of Dreams’ with ‘The Monster Mash’
Warming up for ‘The Longest Time’ with Frank Wilson ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ “used to sing that stuff on street corners, threw stuff at us, and now…”
Kevin James, front row with cast members from his new CBS sitcom, Kevin Can Wait, during ‘Uptown Girl’

At the end of ‘It’s Still RnR to Me’ Billy held his mike-stand out to Kevin James
Predictably, this was being filmed for a scene in the sitcom Kevin Can Wait
In September, on Sirius Radio, Kevin James had told a funny anecdote about Billy and about rehearsing ‘Miami 2017’ with him

♪ ‘Lullabye’ by the Indianapolis Children's Choir

‘The Ballad of Billy The Kid’ (Crystal on harmonica)
Billy going over the lyrics of ‘The Ballad of Billy The Kid’ and how historically totally inaccurate they are +‘Shameless’ Garth Brooks version (Garth was born in Tulsa) + a song from 1970-something “whoever this was about, I got a good song out of it… and it cost me an arm and a leg… you pay for the good things”  “I’m on number 4 now, so… may the 4th be with me”
November 11th (6 pics)

12th - 13th November, at Grace Music School, at Steinway & Sons Piano Gallery, Melville NY: Grand Opening and registration for the Piano Competition with Fantasies & Delusions as repertoire. Competition to play at Carnegie Hall

Billy has contributed to the documentary The Bay Of Imbalance, which started two years ago. Pledge your support and get your name in the credits, or get your selfie on their page, or buy a sticker / Tshirt / glass
Rescheduled on November 21st
November 21st (7 pics)

‘Born To Run’ (© Bruce Springsteen)
The big Billy-Joel-news on the internet was that the motorcycle he custom–made for Bruce Springsteen had broken down and left Bruce stranded on Veterans Day. Apparently, this motorcycle was an Italian-made Moto Guzzi, and not the Sacred Cow bobber, a Kawasaki and first motorcycle that Billy had built for Bruce 

Billy, Marc Forest and Steve Cohen won a NewYork Emmy Award for the Best Special "Billy Joel Home at The Garden" made for the MSG Network.
Billy took his award on stage for the encores and put it on his piano.
 “Home At the Garden 2” is currently in production.

November 21st with Josh Groban

'In The Still Of The Night' a song recorded by The Five Satins
'In The Still Of The Night' a song recorded by The Five Satins +  ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ originally by Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers + ‘The Longest Time’
‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’
'Jingle Bells' + ‘My Life’
‘The Downeater Alexa’ with guest violinist Julian Rachlin, who has played with the Vienna Philharmonic and is a friend of Billy’s brother
Elton John’s ‘Honky Cat’ + ‘Your Song’
‘The River of Dreams’ with ‘Take It Easy’ (spitting at @ 41 sec)
‘Jungleland’ (© Bruce Springsteen)
‘Jungleland’ + ‘Piano Man’

1st December: Parody "at the wrongest time" (American Football)

December 1st, at The Longacre, NY, Alexis & Billy at the Premiere of the new musical A Bronx Tale, co-directed by Robert De Niro.
The next day, Billy walked into the hotel’s dinning room where De Niro was having a party
“I just came down for a glass of wine and all this megillah’s going on. I just saw [all these people] last night at A Bronx Tale. Funny small town.”
About A Bronx Tale, Billy revealed,  “I loved that show. Originally they’d asked me to work on some of the songs. I didn’t say no at first, but I realized I had already done that kind of thing. I’d done an album called An Innocent Man, which was kind of an homage to that era, and I just felt like it would be redundant if I would have done it again. I had a lot of work otherwise so they got Alan Menken, and he did a good job.”
Dorit wife of English businessman Paul Kemsley revealed that her husband got a piano as a birthday gift from Billy, who came to play on it for the special occasion (9 years ago)
5th December 2016: Episode 11 of Series 1 of sitcom Kevin Can Wait aired on CBS. Plot: “Kevin’s Bringing Supper Back” – Kevin’s resolve to spend more quality time with his family is put to the ultimate test when his buddies surprise him with concert tickets to his favorite musician, fellow Long Islander Billy Joel.
In the episode, Billy appears as himself, on stage at MSG (as filmed on October 28th.)
Jamie and the Piano Man: A Billy Joel Special.
2 hour-long interview by Jamie Cullum for BBC Radio 2 (recorded 9th September in London) :
Part 1 on Tuesday 6th December 10 pm GMT & Part 2 on Tuesday 13th December 10 pm GMT
“I played air piano to Billy Joel’s songs,” said Jamie. Here he is in 2015, opening for Billy
Jamie and the Piano Man: A Billy Joel Special.
A few quotes and facts mentioned:
Billy has kept the plaque he got after playing at Drury Lane Theatre, London.
Billy explained that he born Jewish but never went to a synagogue. He went to Catholic mass with his neighbourhood friends, then his mother had him baptised in a Protestant church, at age 11.
“whatever popped into my head, I kind of came out with, I like to be spontaneous, not always the smartest thing in the world”
“I like variation”
“Hell yeah I’m derivative”
“the physics of the guitar on the piano” (re. ‘Everybody You Now’)
“When people ask me, ‘Why don’t you write songs anymore?’ I say, ‘I broke up with the lyricist, we split up…’”
Asked a bout his lyrical ability, he said he was an avid reader.
He talked about his love of Bill Evans, especially “his introverted style.”
About Ray Charles singing on his record, “like having the Statue of Liberty walk in the studio.”
The sax solo on JTWYA “created by Phil Ramone, but played by Phil Woods” (Billy explained how PR mixed several takes together).

Jamie and the Piano Man: A Billy Joel Special.
Jamie’s question [about the lyrics of JTWYA] “it’s still got that little bit of kind of anxiety in it about things not quite working out doesn’t it?”
Billy: “I think that’s what makes a love song, a good love song: if there’s just a bit a pain or a stab or a slice or a little blood, you know? That’s what love really is about; love isn’t all hearts and flowers, love can be… cause anxiety, love can be sad, love can be heart breaking – but that’s what makes it real.”
“I heard Stevie Wonder sing Just The Way You Are, and that’s when I realised, ‘I guess it was a pretty good song’ - cos I don’t ever trust me.”
Jamie said his fav Billy Joel song was Where’s The Orchestra?
Billy: “That’s one of my favorite songs that I wrote and we played it at The Garden, we tried it a couple of times, it doesn’t really go over that well.”
Jamie: “to me the lyrical content in that, is like a piece of poetry” […]
Billy: “It’s sort of a metaphor for life; you think life’s gonna be a musical, but it’s not: it’s a play, and it can work out as a tragedy too […] So where’s the orchestra? That’s kind of my philosophy for life: I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
“No worries” was how Billy ended the interview, when he was thanked.
“Don’t you hate it when bands play new material?” 
snippets of ‘That'll Be The Day’ (© Buddy Holly, J Allison, N Petty) + ‘Sleigh Ride’ + ‘New York State of Mind’
‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ + ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’
‘Jingle Bells’ +’My Life’
snippet of Elton’s ‘Your Song’+ ‘ Zanzibar’ + ’ Yellow Rose Of Texas’  About last time he played here with Elton John, Billy said,  “We both had the same amount of hair, by the way. I just don’t have as good a rug maker, that’s all...”
‘The Ballad of Billy the Kid’ with ‘Piece Of My Heart’ Janis Joplin’s style
New album "Tony Bennett Celebrates 90", out in standard and deluxe editions.  The standard CD is a companion to the NBC special "Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come", which aired December 20th. The album includes Tony’s live duet with Billy on ‘New York State of Mind’ recorded at MSG, on July 20th 2016/

‘She’s Right On Time’ (audio)
‘Say Goodbye To Hollywood’ (audio)
‘Keeping The Faith’ (audio)
Gloria in Excelsis Deo + GLORIA (© Van Morrison) + Sometimes A Fantasy
‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’
December 17th 2016 at MSG

In Florida for 2017

In tribute to George Michael who died on December 25th 2016
‘You’ve Lost The Lovin’ Feelin’’ + ‘Faith’ (© George Michael) + ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’
‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ (Joe Cocker style) 6 min+ (© Lennon, McCartney)
‘Kashmir’ + ‘Souvenir’ + ‘Auld Lang Syne’
with a kiss from Mrs Alexis Joel
‘Souvenir’ + ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Short official footage
‘Miami 2017’
‘Souvenir’ + ‘Auld Lang Syne’ + ‘Miami 2017’ 

Plenty more to come in 2017...