The legendary singer-songwriter ticked off “Vienna,” “And So It Goes,” “You May Be Right,” “She’s Right On Time” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” as his go-to picks. In a lighter turn, Joel and Stephen Colbert rattled off hilarious song theories in “True Stories Behind the Hits.” Joel cracked: “‘Piano Man’ was originally a superhero character … and I wanted to make a movie where he teamed up with Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ to fight Bob Dylan’s ‘Tambourine Man.'”
Joel also recalled fond memories of listening to music in New York. He sneaked into a Jimi Hendrix concert by showing up to the gig with a friend, cables wrapped over their shoulders and using British accents to convince security they were roadies. While the pair managed to get inside the venue, they soon ran up against Hendrix’s famed road manager, Keith Robertson – who was so impressed with their work ethic, he had them set up the guitarist’s amps and let them watch the show.
Joel chatted about building motorcycles for Bruce Springsteen and also gave a spot-on impression of Tony Bennett as he recalled the liberties the crooner tends to take at the end of “New York State of Mind” when they’ve performed it together.
Watch Joel perform with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on a bombastic rendition of Turnstiles closer, “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” below.