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Billy Joel At Vanderbilt


You’re supposed to say no. But the problem with excluding all comers is you forgo serendipity, you eliminate magic. Yes is risky, but it can blow your mind. Like it does in this clip of Billy Joel at Vanderbilt.

First you should watch the clip of Billy playing "Miami 2017" at the MSG Sandy show. Kinda reminds me of that old John Lennon comment, that the rich should just rattle their jewelry. Billy’s got an entire band, he’s firing on all cylinders…and the audience just doesn’t care. They’re self-satisfied, smiling because they’re there. He’s changing the lyrics, making them apropos, but you get no hoot of recognition, no excitement, but Billy soldiers on. He’s playing to millions, but you believe he’d rather be home on the North Shore, watching TV, riding his motorcycle.

But at Vanderbilt…

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College student who played for Billy Joel 'wasn't even nervous' on stage

Randee Dawn, TODAY contributor

Michael Pollack grew up playing piano on Long Island, NY, and as he noted to TODAY anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Al Roker on Wednesday, that meant he was naturally drawn to the area's best-known keyboard hero.

"Every Long Island piano player aspires to be Billy Joel," he said. "You don't have a choice. And I've been playing his music since I'm 10, 11, 12."...

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Billy Joel Plays 'New York State of Mind' With College Freshman

Andy Greene

Vanderbilt University freshman Michael Pollack got the thrill of a lifetime in January when he managed to get onstage with Billy Joel during a Q&A and perform "New York State of Mind" with the singer. "My favorite song of yours is 'New York State of Mind,'" he said from the audience. "I was very fortunate to play with Richie Cannata [Joel's saxophone player] many times in New York City and I was wondering if I could play it with you."

Joel didn't even hesitate, instantly saying "okay" and asking him what key he plays the song in. He then put on sunglasses and belted out the song while Pollack played piano. The student clearly knew the song well, and he played it flawlessly. "Remember that name," Joel told the crowd. "Guy's got chops!"...

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Billy Joel on Not Working and Not Giving Up Drinking

Interview by Andrew Goldman

A.G.: Speaking of descendants, there was a video of you doing "New York State of Mind" with a Vanderbilt University freshman, Michael Pollack.

B.J.: I’ve been doing master classes at colleges all over the world. It’s for music students, mostly, and people who want to be in the music business. Pick my brain . . . So sometimes a kid will say, "Can I try something on the piano with you?" We used to have a gong on the stage. Sometimes somebody gets up there, and you give them about 30 seconds, and if they suck, we hit the gong. But I’ve had people come up onstage and do really terrific stuff. So this thing went viral...

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Vanderbilt Student I BOMBED Calc Test After My Billy Joel Duet

TMZ Staff

Jamming out with Billy Joel is terrible for your report card ... just ask the Vanderbilt freshman whose impromptu duet with the Grammy-winning singer cost him a passing grade on a calculus test.

In case you haven't seen the video -- Billy was at Vanderbilt in January for a Q&A ... and a student named Michael Pollack mustered the testicular fortitude to ask to play piano for Billy while he sang "New York State of Mind." Billy agreed ... and the footage is incredible. Pollack KILLS it.

But the adrenaline rush was so big ... Pollack tells TMZ...

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Billy Joel’s Big-Hearted Duet Goes Viral

Claudine Zap

Meet the Piano Man Jr. As seen in a video that's taking the Internet by storm, Billy Joel fulfilled a Vanderbilt University student's ultimate dream: a onstage performance of "New York State of Mind" with the singer-songwriter.

The student, Michael Pollack, stood up during a question-and-answer session with the singer and posed what had to be the question he's been waiting to ask his whole life.

Mentioning the performer's sax player, he said, "My favorite song of yours is 'New York State of Mind.' I was very fortunate to play with Richie Cannata many times in New York City, and I was wondering if I could play it with you. "...

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Michael Pollack Covers "Home" On SiriusXM

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Michael Pollack on Good Day New York

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Michael Pollack's New Song

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Can I Accompnay You On 'New York State of Mind?'

Claudine Zap

Billy held "An Evening of Questions and Answers and a Little Bit of Music" last month at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. During the session, student Michael Pollack, a Long Island native, asked if he could accompany Billy on piano and perform "New York State Of Mind." Here is the complete video of their performance together. Nice going Michael! You can watch this and other videos in our Billy Joel "Questions & Answers" lecture series.

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