Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday, Piano Man!

In my teen and college years, there were three artists, backed by high-energy bands, whose work I would buy in a heartbeat: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and Billy Joel. Though all three continue to tour, only Springsteen has continued to produce a consistent body of work in the studio to match his concerts.

I’ve never seen Billy Joel in concert, and these days, with much more going on in my life, I pursue concert-going opportunistically rather than religiously, as I did in my youth. I can’t imagine at this point that I’ll see him in concert. Yet, through live CDs, videos and TV appearances, I feel as if I have a sense of his all-stops-out style in front of an audience.

Today, as we toast The Piano Man, I thought this post might be a good way to tip my cap to him for a song catalogue produced over the course of nearly 20 years, in the face of often bitter, uncomprehending and even incomprehensible music criticism. (Billy Joel a “sellout”? Music tastes have about the shelf life of yogurt. There’s no way anyone can assure sustained popularity over the decades. The musical landscape is littered with dead careers testifying to that.)

Maybe there’s some jealousy involved. After all, like Arthur Miller, his talent not only brought him fame and riches but made him a symbol of hope that even a homely guy could get the goddess, the blond supermodel, The Uptown Girl.

Oh, yes: Christie is the other one in the photo. After a week of depressing male visages—General Grant, Woodrow Wilson, Arlen Specter, and C.P. Snow (a true egghead if there ever was one!)—I think my male viewers would kill me if I didn’t provide some visual relief. So, here it is.

(Female readers—judging from the list of recipients of these blog postings, I neglect them at my peril!—are hereby invited to nominate their favorite examples of M.E.C.—i.e., Male Eye Candy. No promises, but I’ll do my best to supply said images. But just remember—this is a family blog!)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for including Christie--a smile to lighten a heart and I'm sure, much more than eye candy! She looks wonderful and I truly hope she's well. I have lost track of her whereabouts...I vaguely recall celebrity drama over their marriage, but I can't keep track of such things.