One of the first things I realized when construction began was that I wanted to honor a true Long Island legend; someone who I admired, both on and off the stage.
Similar to Wayne Chrebet, my former roommate and business partner, Billy Joel earned my respect & love in so many ways. His lyrics have always hit me right between the eyes and have continued to motivate me through the years. Like many others, I believe Billy Joel is the voice that pumps blood throughout Long Island.
Vienna is one of those songs that I’ve never forgotten and never got sick of. The lyrics resembled the story of my crazy life & constantly reminded me to take a break and reset (something we all don’t do enough of).
“Slow down you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile…”
“Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while…”
So many classic lines. Lyrics that helped me focus and keep life in perspective.
Throughout Joel’s musical career, I was always able to relate. His songs spoke to a lot of what I went through. Aside from feeling a connect to his music, I also loved it. “Your my home” was actually my wedding song; however, like Billy’s personal life that one didn’t work out.
How about, “it’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday and the regular crowd shuffled in.” That song ran through my head like clockwork for 15 years while I bartended on weekends. And while my rush was more like 11 o’clock, I knew and felt what Billy meant.
Billy Joel, in a strange way, has always been a friend of mine. Even though he has zero clue who I am; I know who he is and what he means to my hometown & that’s all that matters.
In all honesty, it’s fair to say I’m a die hard fan. 22 concerts later…how could I not be? I sing along to every song and pray he’ll play one of his more ‘underground’ songs that doesn’t get heard enough. I’ve even had the pleasure of taking my boys to see the legend at the Garden back in 2016.
VIENNA is my way of thanking Mr. Joel for all that he does for Long Island. We, Long Islanders, recognize your hard work and dedication to everything you do. So Billy, find a little time to disappear for a while & hopefully you’ll find yourself back at VIENNA.
Here’s to you, Piano Man!