A few years ago, my dad mentioned in passing that sometime in the early 70s he stopped in for a drink at a cocktail lounge in Los Angeles, and Billy Joel was playing at the piano bar. Later it dawned on me that Billy Joel wrote his famous song “Piano Man” about his experience as a lounge singer, so I wondered whether my dad may have met some of the characters that Joel described in his famous song, such as John the bartender, Paul the real estate novelist, or Davy who was still in the Navy. Then I began to wonder whether my dad was himself one of the characters described in Billy Joel’s famous song. Perhaps he was one of “the businessmen who slowly [got] stoned,” or the guy who practiced politics with the waitress. Well, these questions led me on a fascinating investigative journey with numerous twists and turns!
A bonus segment was added to the end of the show after new information came to light in December 2023. If you wish to skip ahead to this new segment, forward the player to 40:07. Also, if you’d like to read a full-length article version of this story, along with detailed footnotes, click here.
Is My Dad Mentioned in Billy Joel’s Piano Man?, Shane Rosenthal
How to Detect Deception, Shane Rosenthal
What is Faith?, Shane Rosenthal
Why Should We Believe the Bible?, Shane Rosenthal
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