31 Days, Day 18: Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel

billy-joel-wallpapeR_Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel

This song takes me right back to 8th grade, to the halls of my junior high school and Home Ec class.  I don’t know why Home Ec, but there you go.  Back then the girls took Home Ec and the boys took Shop, except for those few girls who liked to rebel against societal expectations and took Shop instead.  Nowadays they call it Independent Living or something like that instead of Home Ec.

I always thought Billy Joel looked like my Uncle Wendell, and as they both get older the resemblance is even more striking.  I don’t know why I thought you needed to know that.

Billy Joel was the one who showed me that a saxophone could sound like it belonged in a pop song.  I grew up with parents who were country and gospel fans so I didn’t hear much saxophone in the music played in our house.  I didn’t really get financially invested in his music until the Glass Houses album came out, but I played that one incessantly for a while.  And then when he fell in love and married Christie Brinkley, I fell in love with him all over again, possibly because it was during the era when I was getting married for the first time (I was very young) and I related to all the love songs he was singing.  And who doesn’t want to be told that you’re loved just the way you are?

I saw him in concert during the early 80s right after he and Christie Brinkley split up and he didn’t sing a single song he wrote for or about her.  It was a little disappointing but having gone through a divorce myself I could sort of understand his feelings about it.

Fun fact:  Billy doesn’t have any bone in his left thumb because of a motorcycle accident he had as a teenager.  I wonder how that affects his piano playing.

What’s your favorite Billy Joel song?


2 thoughts on “31 Days, Day 18: Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel

  1. What’s not to love about Billy Joel? Did he sing a bad song? I can’t name just one. My Uncle was in the music business back then (sessions guitarist and producer) and had all sorts of albums, gold records, etc. around his house in Murfreesboro. One of the sets he had was a demo (or maybe a limited release?) complete Billy Joel set, this was probably in the late 70’s. I got really close to asking to borrow it one weekend but never got up the courage. It had ALL of the great songs on it.

    • I can’t think of a bad song of his either. He was and is just brilliant. He was pretty troubled at times too. There was a time when he drank furniture polish in a suicide attempt that thankfully didn’t work. I’d love to get my hands on a complete set of his work!

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