History

Hell’o Mr Joel ,

I know you are always busy . I have tried to come up with a short and sweet way of writing this letter , but deep down inside I can’t just do it . I have decided to go with my gut feeling and write what I am compelled to write . If what I write goes unread, then so be it . My soul and my spirit will know the story was told .

My 1967 Chrysler Imperial swerved right then left and headed toward an open fall harvested corn field turfing up the early spring mud. The wide orange eyes of the buck I was about to hit standing in the middle of the road disappeared as fast as they appeared .” Wow, that was a close one “ my companion said as we sat in the field in the car covered with mud. I should have seen that deer in plenty of time , accept for the fact that my attention while driving the back roads of Bucks County Pa. somewhere between Newtown and New Hope was diverted . The factors behind my diversion were many. It was at night on April 15th 1972 . I had just received my draft notice. Not only did I disagree with the war in Vietnam and the fact that the political machine in America was targeting the poor young men of this country to feed the war. I was eighteen years old. I did not have the right to vote . My older brother Jim had just come back from his second tour. I was rebellious and my parents were very strict. They had met and fell in love and were married through the second world war and the Korean war. It was the generation of My Country Right or Wrong . My father being a Philadelphia policeman only added to the strict guidelines to which I was raised. How do I tell my family I didn’t want to go ? How can I break their hearts ? How will I be able to face the shit storm it will start by speaking my mind ? How can they be so strict about curfew and limitations on what I can and can’t do and just roll over and let the government just come along and swoop me up ? This on my mind could count as one of my diversions that night on the road . It could have been the joint and quart of beer my companion and I were passing back and forth. Something which was stupid and highly illegal . In my defense today , it was 1972 and unfortunately very common place for two white kids in the suburbs of Philly . All those factors considered , I am here to tell you what really diverted my attention that night . The car radio was tuned to WMMR which was broadcasting live from the Sigma Sound Studios. We were listening to a guy who was “Fucking Great” thats what we said as we were listening “This guy is FUCKING GREAT “ the guy of course was you , Billy Joel. The song you were singing was“Captain Jack”.Which I have to tell you took priority over the near death experience for me and my companion and the deer. So rather than death that night , there was a birth . The birth of a Billy Joel fan .As I push the age of 65 I can look back and remember vividly where I was at certain key events in my life and history . Most people remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot. The same can be said for Martin Luther and then Bobby and the birth of their children . I guess it’s where one’s sense memory kicks in and puts you in touch with everything about that moment in your mind. That night listening to you is one of those moments . I will never forget. When the Army had finally got their hands on me I eventually was stationed in Tacoma Washington . While browsing through a record store there,I came across your album “Cold Spring Harbor “. I played it to death and wondered what became of you. I spoke to many record store clerks and could find no information on you or what had become of this very talented singer songwriter I had heard back east . Then came the “ Piano Man” . The rest is history .

Now , the reason for this letter and story is Not because I am a fan. It’s for the generation of fans that have come long after that night in 1972 . Which in itself just gives me goosebumps and blows me away and just confirms my opinion that music is the common denominator which bridges any generation gap . For a combination Christmas gift I bought 5 tickets to your show at the Garden for March 3rd. I bought 5 seats from a ticket agency { scalper ). I will be bringing my wife Sandy my daughter Victoria her girlfriend Aubry (the real reason for this letter } and my niece Lisa . the idea came from something nice to do for Aubry . Aubry is a great kid and she just finished college this past semester and didn’t plan on attending her graduation. Victoria asked us to plead with her to attend. We did just that, by explaining how proud we all were and that she shouldn’t miss this opportunity. We also explained that in this day and age with life’s share of bad decisions and choices some young people make, that she should acknowledge her achievement. It worked, and she agreed to attend her graduation. My idea came afterwards that we should reward her. Much to my surprise ( no offense to you but just confirmation to MY ignorance ) Aubry is a huge Billy Joel fan and has been since early childhood . Thus,the birth of my idea for buying tickets to your show ! When Victoria told Aubry about the tickets she cried. Tears of joy and a very large thank you with love.She had stated that she always wanted to attend one of your iconic shows at the garden, but just couldn’t afford it. What I found amazing is that the generation of fans among us goes from age 65 to 21.That is a great testament to you and your music .We are all excited about spending the day in New York and attending your show. The excitement of our trip is helping us deal with these cold dull wintery days. I work an average of 80 hours on the railroad in Philly as a train conductor on passenger rail. This trip will also be a much needed break for me.
There are no tragic story’s to accompany this request.Although my niece Lisa is raising 2 twin autistic girls by herself with my brothers help. I am sure you get your fare share of requests from people who have some situation in their life and are looking for a little cheering up from you. That is not our case . In the grand scheme of things we are all doing pretty damn well.And my thoughts and prayers go out to those who don’t have it so well . I’m just appealing to you as a fellow Dad , Husband and Uncle. If there was anyway you could acknowledge Aubry’s and the girls presence at the show. It would be great !

I do realize you must receive thousands of requests. I also know that getting ready for a show and putting one on is everyones primary concern. I know your busy as hell before during and after, but I live by the motto of “ no harm in asking and give it a shot”.
And yes if this happened it would make me a HERO . You know how that feels I’m sure because you are already a HERO. We could be HEROS together . We could be like Batman and Robin , Of course your Batman !!
For logistic purposes the girls are sitting in section 109 row 15 seats 13 thru 16 and I could not get a seat with them so I am in section 110 row 16 seat 10.Thank you in advance for any consideration. If nothing can be done I understand.I am not even sure where to send this letter so I will send out several copies so that they may find your hand. HAVE A GOOD SHOW.

An old Irish Railroad Blessing “ May your switches always be lined , and May your wheels never touch the ground “


Thoughts Prayers and PEACE



Brian Williamson
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