Billy Joel may not be known as the “coolest” or “edgiest” musician but there’s no denying the guy’s talent or the awesomosity of treating a fan to an experience of a lifetime. Mr. “In The Middle Of The Niiiii-iiiight I Go Walking In My Sleep” Joel was giving a part lecture part concert at Vanderbilt University when shit got real during the Q&A. Superfan and college freshman Michael Pollack told his idol that New York State of Mind is his favorite song and asked if he could accompany him on piano. Mr. “To The Mountains Of Fame (Mountains of Fame) To The River So Dee-eeeeep” Joel paused for all of 2 seconds then said, breezily, “Okay.”
The students cheered as Pollack got on stage, discussed with Mr. Billy “I Must Be Searching For Something, Something Sacred I Looo-ooooosst” Joel what key to play it in…and then tore that f-cking piano apart, killing it. In the best possible way. He got every nuance, every flare, and you could tell Mr. Billy “But The River Is Wiii-iiide And Too Hard To Crooossss” Joel was duly impressed.
After the intro, Joel started to sing, and of course killed it too. And then you have this wonderful video capturing this wonderful moment of a ballsy talented kid playing piano on stage with motherf-cking Billy “I DON’T WHYYY I GO WALKING AT NIIIGHT BUT I’M TIRED AND I’M NOT GONNA WALK ANYMORE” Joel.
At the end of the performance, Joel declared, “That’s Michael Pollack. Remember that name.”
It reminds me of when Pete Townshend of The Who, unable to deal with drummer Keith Moon passing out onstage due to his love of taking horse tranquilizers, asked the audience, “Does anyone know how to play drums?” And lucky fan Scot Halpin got to jam with The Who.
After the Billy Joel jam sesh, Pollack said that he was so psyched over it that he then failed his calculus exam. But he told TMZ, “I have no shame. I got a 69 on the test, compliments of Billy.”
Thanks to The Huffington Post for this happy story.