"LONG TIME LISTENER, FIRST TIME CALLER"

My name is Bob Davidson and I, along with most of you, have been an ardent fan as we Easterners would say "for-evva".

My initial Billy Joel moment was in Philadelphia in 1972. FM radio stations were raising the bar of rock and roll. It was new. It was different. The songs were longer! The DJs had personality. In Philadelphia, we had WMMR. They played Zepellin, they played album cuts. Before mega-hit maker Columbia Records ever signed him, Billy had "Cold Spring Harbor" album release, but the best song on that album, "She's Got a Way" was friggin' sped up making Billy's prettiest ballad ever into a Long Island Chipmunk cartoon character, but I still loved the song. In those days, vinyl had time limitation

How did I know this at such an early stage? His album was getting a fair amount of airplay locally and he was invited to broadcast live on WMMR, a Progressive Rock (ProgRock) Metromedia affiliate that was somewhat popular amongst college kids who heard him live in the studio performing the inimitable "Captain Jack" thus lighting up radio station's switchboards for weeks. That song became the most requested music on that station for what seemed to be an eternity. At this point, other Metromedia outlets took notice of this Philadelphia surge for The Piano Man and like all good fairy tales, this one ends happy as the career blossomed.

That was the beginning. This is the middle. It is 1981. "Songs in the Attic" is released. I am living in Los Angeles, and like so many, I shopped at Tower Records. As many of you will remember, their stores were showcases in promoting new product. Posters, more posters, an entire plate glass window with a gigantic hand-painted copy of the cover. In the store, bin after bin with stacks of his album and boxloads everywhere and one much older and what seemed a very nice woman all alone. I casually say to her "I can't wait to hear it." when his mother, an accomplished musician in her own right Rosalind, proceeded to tell me it was even better than "Streetlife Serenade" and "Piano Man". What could I do? Not only did I buy the album, but Rosalind's autograph is secure.

just turned 64 and my wife sprung floor seats for Chase Field in Phoenix, thus attending my very first Billy Joel concert...ever. I cannot wait.
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