Billy, I have a friend who could use your hellp-after all, he talked about you a lot.....

Hey there, Piano Man, from a fellow Long Island baby (although it's been a long time since I left Massepequa).....some friends of mine and I were discussing the recent nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a place I know you're familiar with. And the folks were discussing a lot of the people given nods, and some of course grumbling, why the hell are THEY nominated, or NOT nominated? One friend of mine, Steven Edlin, said, you know, it really doesn't matter who's getting the nod, there's a lot of good music all over the place that SHOULD be recognized. And I pretty much agreed with him-after all, listening to so many different types of music, the terms "pop music" and "rock & roll" are, to me, interchangeable. After all, what's good is good, and to emphasize that, I brought up an old tune from 1980 that says it best for me, with the lyrics, "hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still rock & roll to me." I figured you might recognize that one. But the kicker is, I learned to love a lot of the styles of music, and even learned about some of the people involved-including your up and down crazy career-with the help of one gent in particular, Billy. And let's face the fact, any artist who wouldn't have liked to have this guy tell his story and then not say "he's got the number one song in the USA this week," well, they're damned lying. The gent in question recently passed, and now some of his friends and I are asking for your help to honor him. And you're probably guessing I'm talking about legendary radio host Casey Kasem-which I am. Casey and his crew had the inside scoop on the music scene for a good number of years, and featured some of the best music of all types throughout the years. And it wasn't just the hits, or the facts about your career and many others, but the fact he knew that some of your songs, given to the right listener, could touch them in so many ways. I know that people requested your ballads like "Just The Way You Are" and "She's Always A Wonan," and dedicated to the special someone in their lives, and I also know that people were connected with those songs, from all walks of life, all around the globe. Casey's been acclaimed for his work by a lot of folks, and well respected in the music business (among his other talents), but there's a few-including some of Casey's family, friends, and fans-that want one final honor for him. We've been petitioning for Casey to receive the RRHOF's Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-artists, named after the Atlantic Records founder, for their work with the music community and causes close to their heart. I'm asking you, your colleagues and fans, to consider joining us in our effort. Casey was a damned good friend to all of us listeners growing up, and a damned good friend to the music community in general. I've got two links posted here, one to a petition I've set up online to herald our cause, and the second to an article done earlier this year that spells out the movement. Billy, I'm asking as a longtime admirer of your work, to help give us a "second wind," and see about giving us a hand. There's a number of Casey's crew that would appreciate it, and so would I. THANKS, buddy!

Matt Gillis ("DocMAGNC") Burlington, NC
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