Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Entertainer

Everyone has a soundtrack to their life. It just so happens that Billy Joel is a main contributor to my soundtrack. Last night is no exception since I experienced another Billy Joel moment.

Let me just say that Philadelphians LOVE Billy Joel! They love Billy Joel so much that they have a banner hanging permanently in the Wachovia Center that says "Billy Joel--41 Philadelphia Sell Outs!" It hangs right next to the banner that reads "Bruce Springsteen--43 Philadelphia Sell Outs". The only other way they hang a banner is when the Philadelphia Flyers win something or they retire a player's jersey. It cracks me up this kind of passion and love for someone. Really, he has something like six sold out shows just this spring.

But back to Billy Joel moments in my life...

1980 - "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me"
Sean, my brother, had this 45 album that was well loved because we alternated listening to this song and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in our basement when we were little. The floor is covered in Legos, Barbies, records, hockey sticks, army men, and dress up clothes. We played together and we played separate, but we listened to the music over and over again.

1980 Something - "Tell Her About It"
I remember listening to this song for the first time while watching one of my favorite shows of the early 80's, Solid Gold. After this, I remember dancing by myself in my basement to this song (and probably others). There was a point when I thought this was the best song ever written and nothing could match its perfection.

1994 - "And So It Goes"
The high school choir had a small group of singers that were chosen to sing acapella music. Along with more traditional music, they chose this song. I was only a junior in high school and had never tried out for this elite group, but after hearing them sing this song, I knew I never wanted to be a part of the group. If I had been a part of the group, I would not get to listen to them. I loved listening to this song and all the other songs that they sang. I was their biggest silent fan.

1994 - "Always a Woman"
I went to my first Billy Joel concert with three other girls. We traveled in my beloved Chevy Celebrity to Fargo. On the way home, one of the girls kept referring to this song as 'her song'. Why she staked a claim to this song is beyond me, but from that point was hers. Hands off! It was for this reason that to this day when I hear this song and I am in the car, I sing it as loud as I can...because it could be mine too.

1995 - "Only the Good Die Young"
My closest friends and I would go to visit Tim in his fraternity house. We were always welcome because we always brought a case of beer with us. We'd have a few beers and soon enough, we'd have too many. The best part of the night was when we would end up this guy, Kent's, room where he would be our personal DJ. He'd always play this song and one of my friends would put the beer box on her head with the handle as her eye holes and dance. A favorite memory of mine.

2003 - "We Didn't Start the Fire"
For my friend Amanda's birthday, we went to The Sportsman to sing karaoke. Our friend Steve had not found his inner karaoke self, yet after a few beers, he not only found his inner karaoke star, but attempted what might have been the most difficult karaoke song of all time. After that moment, he could do no wrong in my eyes.

2006 - "You're My Home"
Tonight, I saw Billy Joel and he was spectacular. His voice was exactly as it sounded thirty years ago on his albums. I have always been a Billy Joel fan, but the kind that loves the standards. He sang many non-standards like this song. It is beautiful and human and so meaningful. He told the album it was on and I went home and purchased it along with "Summer, Highland Falls" because it fits into the same old Billy Joel song. I am going through what I will call getting back together with Billy Joel and seeing him through different 29 year old eyes.


Rhiannon said...

Sara - I went to Billy Joel in Fargo too. Did we go together? I remember Kirsten I think, and Janelle? That was my first concert ever. Good stuff.

Matt said...

Like you, Billy Joel is the major contributer to the soundtrack of my life. "You're my home" is a great unknown Joel song. It's on Cold Spring Harbor isn't it? Thanks for sharing some Billy Joel related memories. I think I may do the same over at my blog...

Sara said...

No, Rhiannon, I went with Jamie V., Jill S., and Anne W. C. But it was my first concert too and last night made me appreciate Billy Joel so much more.

me said...

Thanks for the memories! You and Billy have fun now :)

Dree said...

I've loved Billy for as long as I can remember. My favorite song is "Summer. Highland Falls." It's not one of the well-known, radio songs, but it holds a special place in my heart. My other (better known) favorite is "She's Got a Way." *sigh*

shelly said...

i too love the billy, but that is not what compelled me to comment. the math is not difficult, sara. in 1995 i wasn't even old enough to bring beer to parties. naughty naughty. and for the record, piano man is the finest of billy's best.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sara,
Thanks for being part of my latest Billy Joel memory. You were the best V-Day date I've had in ages!