Piano men gotta piano, right? In a world gone mad, there are a few things you can count on, and Billy Joel tickling the ivories is definitely one of them. In a viral video shot last month, Joel, 71, is seen stopping to play a tune on a sidewalk keyboard in Huntington, Long Island, zipping of an impromptu version of Shelton Brooks’ 1917 ragtime roll “Darktown Strutters’ Ball.”
Wearing a black jacket and pants and sporting a motorcycle helmet, Joel opines, “Not bad, the action is good… Just needs tuning, and the finish is beat. It’s a perfectly good piano.” Tinkling the high end of the instrument the singer adds, “It’s a shame to throw it out,” before suggesting someone should donate it to St. Vincent de Paul. He also checks out the pedals and the finish on the keys and again praises the action on the unloved upright.
Newsday reported that Joel was on a motorcycle ride when he spotted the instrument and felt compelled to stop and give it a try. Joel’s historic run at New York’s Madison Square Garden was interrupted when a pair of shows in March were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out the video below.