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Musicians Contact relates our funny Billy Joel story The Source For Jobs Since 1969 Sterling Howard, Owner/Founder 818-888-7879 Musicians and industry personnel receiving this story: 59,221


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Every so often I'm speaking to a musician on the phone when the conversation somehow turns to Billy Joel, and I wind up relating the time Billy was registered with us as a keyboardist seeking gigs. Keep in mind this was way back in 1972! In those days, players would walk into our old office on Sunset in Hollywood and fill out a resume, which was put into a large notebook, available to band leaders and employers seeking available musicians.

Billy paid our listing fee of $5 and I gave him a receipt, dated November 8, 1972, (we still have the carbon copy of his receipt). He had recently come to Los Angeles from New York and was looking for gigs. He even wrote at the bottom of his resume, (which we also still have), "I'm not interested in jamming or messing around, I just need money".

A week or so later, an agent called who booked acts in local lounges. He needed a keyboardist for one of his restaurants, so I looked through the resumes and gave him some phone numbers, including Billy's. Several days later the agent called again for more phone numbers. "What happened with Billy Joel?" I asked. "Oh" said the agent sarcastically, "He's another one of those big stars, too big to play top 40 - he only wants to do his own material!" But I do remember that he also admitted "but he's awfully good".

Shortly after, Billy was in our office again, this time looking through resumes of other individual players for his forming band. He was sitting next to Michael Shure, a guitarist. Billy turned to him and asked "Would you like to audition for my group?" Michael answered "Maybe, is it paying?" "No", Billy said, "it's my original group". "Sorry, I'm not interested!" said Michael. The reason I know these details is because Michael Shure has been registered with us about 25 times over the past 40 years, and as a matter of fact is registered right now.

And guess what - Billy still has 55 unused days with our service, because even in 1972, as they can still do today, members may stop their days to save the rest of their time for later. So Billy, your 55 days are still here when you need them! He may have gotten the restaurant gig from us which inspired "Piano Man" since the song was released less than a year later, but I can't be sure.

Ever had a "close brush with fame?" If so, let us know, maybe we'll feature it in an upcoming story. Reply to: To read some brief accounts of other known musicians who have used our service, click "Famous Clients" at People sometimes tell me I should write a book about some of the crazy stories of musicians who have passed through this business since 1969 - maybe I will!


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