How Billy Joel’s Music is so Important to my Life

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If you read my blog regularly: you know music is a very big part of how I thrive. I like every possible genre of music there is. You’ll find everything on my iPod. I leave it on shuffle, so I get all my favorite music mixed up. However, I do have a list of very favorite artists. I’ll talk about all of them, in turn, probably. Today’s post is about my favorite artist of all time. He’s known the world over as “The Piano Man.” Of course, I’m talking about Billy Joel. I’ve heard many times: “You’re too young to be a Billy Joel fan.” Those folks obviously don’t know their Disney movies. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about: Billy voiced, “New York’s coolest quadruped”, Dodger in “Oliver and Company.” If you’ve never seen this particular Disney movie: do so. From the first notes of “Why Should I Worry” I became a Billy Joel fan. He was so cool! I wanted to hear all his music.

A few years later: “We didn’t Start The Fire” was the first single released off his album “Storm Front.” I loved the song, and still do. It is a cross between rap and rock and roll for me. As a kid: that was the best description my young mind could come up with. I still think it’s pretty apt. “Storm Front” quickly became my favorite record. It still is. Now, it has the distinction of my favorite record…EVER. Why, you ask?

A few months after “Storm Front” was released I underwent a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to help my overall tone and movement. I don’t really understand much, to this day, other than it was a surgery on my spine and it improved my quality of life a lot. After the hospital stay and 600 mile trip back home: I had to have therapy 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, for a year.

“Storm Front” became my soundtrack, that year, when I didn’t want to do the rehab. It was really rough and pushed every limit I thought I had. I played my tape so much: I literally wore it out. The day it wore out: I sobbed. Mama, one of my best friends growing up, and her mom assured me it wasn’t a big deal. My friend, who lived up the road: her mom was our school counselor. She handled my meltdown in calm counselor mode. My friend just hugged me, and mama, well, she assured me we could get another copy later that afternoon. We did. Now, I have the album on CD as well as the digital version. No more tape to possibly ware out. I loved “Storm Front” so much mama got his greatest hits, on tape, for Granny to give me for Christmas one of the last Christmas’ we had at her house. That tape went the same way as “Storm Front”, but I have the CD version, and the digital copy of that as well.

Billy Joel is still the artist I play when I’ve had a really rough day. In fact, those that know me best can tell you: if Billy is playing, it’s best to allow me processing time before asking what’s wrong. Hugs and coffee are about the only things I want when I’m having a meltdown to Billy’s music. It’s one of my quirks that make me uniquely me. I wouldn’t change that particular quirk even if I could. I’ll always be thankful to “The Piano Man” for writing a good portion of my thriving soundtrack.

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