November 1973 – Piano Man by Billy Joel

November 1973 – a song popular in this month – Piano Man by Billy Joel

This was inspired by Joel’s experiences playing at The Executive Room, a piano bar in Los Angeles.

Interesting facts Piano Man & Billy Joel

Joel played under the name Bill Martin, which explains why the patrons in the song call him Bill. Martin is his middle name.

This is the first song and title track to Joel’s breakthrough album, which he released after signing with Columbia Records.

When he was 21, after his band broke up and his girlfriend left him, he tried to kill himself by drinking furniture polish (he “took the Pledge”). He learned that furniture polish doesn’t kill you, it just gets you really sick. After the incident, he checked himself into a hospital for depression, which he later said was a great experience, since he saw people who had far worse problems and learned to stop feeling sorry for himself.

Many critics trashed him in the ’70s. Joel used to tear up their reviews onstage.

This song has surprising appeal to a younger generation, something that Joel learned when he played the Bonnaroo festival in 2015 and the crowd sang along. He told Entertainment Weekly the response was unexpected, since it’s “an old, long song about a guy at a depressing piano bar.”

This information was provided by

30 thoughts on “November 1973 – Piano Man by Billy Joel

  1. Ha, good old Billy 🙂 This really did bring back some memories! Great song. Thanks for sharing all that interesting info. I definitely did not know all the facts ! Hope you will have a relaxing day my friend. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always loved this song. The younger generation might like it because it offers hope — you do something you love, you work hard, and you get noticed. Or, they might just relate because it takes place in a bar… lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In that apartment I just left – the one with the crazy columns and vast expanse of floor I was often to be found, entirely on my own, whilst The Bean slumbered in the sun and The Brains was working on the other side of town, dancing to this very track. Thank you Terry – I smile at the memory’s 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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