January 24, 2007

Billy Joel Live in Concert

Did I ever tell you about the Billy Joel concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills in November 1998?

We had two nosebleed tickets for the show. No one was opening for Billy ... he was headlining this tour by himself.

We left Vestaburg and headed down to the show on Nov. 18. I had recently purchased my first cellular telephone, so on the way down, I called Ticketmaster. I just wanted to see if there were any better tickets available.

"Hi! I'm wondering if you have any tickets available for tonight's Billy Joel concert?"

"Sir, that concert has been sold out for weeks. But I will check for you. Oh, oh. Uh-huh."

"I take it you may have found some tickets?"

"Yes, sir. I located some."

"Where would they be?"

"How does Row 1 sound?"

"Seriously, front row? For tonight!"


So, suddenly, we had four tickets to a sold-out show. In no certain order, I called everyone I could think of. No one was able to head to Auburn Hills on the spur of the moment to see Billy Joel. One person said, "Maybe." So, I put the tickets behind the little door that leads to the gas tank. No one took me up on the offer.

It was a great night. This guy, presumably a roadie, walked in front of us. So, outlandish me, "Hey, are you a roadie?"

"Well, buddy," he said. "Actually roadies don't like to be called roadies. They are crew members."

"So, ah, you're not a crew member, eh?"

"No, you see that microphone right over there? Yeah, that's where I'll be. Singing back-up."

We talked to Michael for about a half-hour. We talked about Billy Joel, life on the road, rock 'n' roll, and about anything else we thought of. He offered to take my tour program backstage and get it signed. Everyone in the band signed it. Billy signed the cover.

The show was great. Toward the end, they were jamming "Big Shot." From reading several interviews, articles, and books about Billy and his band over the years, I knew that Liberty DeVito, his drummer, could read lips. I mouthed, "Liberty, throw me a drum stick, dude!" He mouthed back, "You better catch it" and suddenly a "Big Shot" drum stick came flying my way. I caught it.

There is nothing like standing in the front row!

1 comment:

Tuna Can said...

I don't believe the story, do you have any proof that Liberty threw you a drumstick. Was it chicken or turkey?