Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast

Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno

Join lifelong Billy Joel fans, Michael and Jack, as they take deep dives in to Billy’s history, songs, albums, tours, band members and more.

EP 066 - Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (with Steve Cohen & Jon Small)
Aug 16 2022
EP 066 - Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (with Steve Cohen & Jon Small)
This fall, an often-overlooked live Billy Joel release is getting a second lease on life.    The 1990 video release Live At Yankee Stadium is getting a makeover with remixed and remastered sound, an extra song, and a brand new edit. And, after a limited run in theaters, it’ll be available on Blu-ray along with a 2-CD or 3-LP release featuring 11 never before released performances.    While the Yankee Stadium home video was a hit after its release, it’s been largely overlooked in the decades after that. It came on the heels of the definitive Live From Long Island in 1982 and the historically seismic Russia shows in 1987.    Those live releases featured mostly members of Billy’s longtime core band. Later, 2006’s 12 Gardens Live and Live At Shea Stadium, released in 2011, spotlighted a lineup that’s gone largely unchanged since then.    By contrast, Live at Yankee Stadium features a transitional lineup. And, it didn’t help that the fast cuts and frenetic camera angles locked it squarely as an early-90s MTV relic.    But that’s changing with this new release. The longer cuts and enhanced sound give the entire production a more organic and immersive feel. And, the accompanying audio discs reveal even more of Billy’s two-night stand.    To learn more about the new release, we spoke with Steve Cohen, Billy’s longtime lighting director and producer of the re-released film. And with director and original producer Jon Small, who’s worked with Billy since the late 60s and has either directed or collaborated on virtually every Billy Joel concert film or music video.    They gave us an amazing behind-the-scenes look at the making of the original film, the inspiration for its reimagining, and the process of bringing it back to life.    Join us as we dig deep into the original Live At Yankee Stadium and the story behind its new look and sound.    www.billyjoel.film   ------   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:     Discord:   Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 065 - Concert Classics: Live in London, 1984
Aug 2 2022
EP 065 - Concert Classics: Live in London, 1984
By 1984, Billy Joel was known for changing styles from album to album. What’s less recognized was how often he changed voices. And, one night that year in England, those voices were all on display.    Close listening to any Billy Joel record reveals a variety of tones, accents, and affectations in the singing. Add to that the many impressions he’s done over the years in interviews and concerts.    Many of them were on display, and front and center, when BIlly and the band took the stage at Wembley Arena in June of 1984. Deep into the An Innocent Man tour, the concert was simulcast on radio and television in Europe.    As a result of it being broadcast, the mix is often more dry and a little muted with the singing more prominent than usual. At the same time, Billy seemed to be leaning into the many different vocal affectations more often than usual.    The concert itself is a great performance, with the band augmented by a horn section and a guest star and a baby on the way. But in particular, it’s an excellent showcase for Billy’s so-called rubber voice.    Join us, as we dig deep into Billy Joel at Wembley Arena in 1984.     Date: June 8, 1984 City/Country: London, England Venue: Wembley Arena     The band: Billy Joel - Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, GuitarLiberty DeVitto - DrumsDoug Stegmeyer - Bass, VocalsDavid Brown - Lead GuitarRussell Javors - Rhythm Guitar, VocalsMark Rivera - Saxophone, Percussion, VocalsDavid Lebolt - KeyboardsPeter Hewlett - VocalsFrank Simms - Vocals The Affordables Larry Etkin, Glen Stulpin, Bob Livingood - Horns   The Setlist:  Prelude / Angry Young ManMy LifePiano ManDon't Ask Me WhyAllentownGoodnight SaigonPressureLeave A Tender Moment AloneAn Innocent ManThe Longest TimeThis NightJust The Way You AreScenes From An Italian RestaurantSometimes A FantasyIt's Still Rock And Roll To MeUptown GirlBig ShotTell Her About ItYou May Be RightOnly The Good Die Young    ------   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:     Discord:     Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 061 - Glass Houses Playlist #5 - The Nylon Curtain Live Through The Years
Jun 7 2022
EP 061 - Glass Houses Playlist #5 - The Nylon Curtain Live Through The Years
When Billy Joel's The Nylon Curtain was released into the world in the fall of 1982, it was considered one of his most ambitious albums to date.    Despite the rich layer and textures of the album's sonic landscape, many of the songs translated to a live setting with apparent ease. The Nylon Curtain saw our first glimpse of many of these songs on stage. While the singles "Allentown," "Pressure," and "Goodnight Saigon" quickly became staples, the remaining 6 would become the elusive deep cut that would be a treat on the rare occasions they'd make their way to a setlist.   For this playlist episode, Michael is presenting The Nylon Curtain Live Through The Years... in album sequence, hear the entire album spanning nearly 40 years of live performances.   Track listing: Allentown (Live From Long Island - December 29, 1982 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum)Laura (12 Gardens Live - Spring 2006 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden)Pressure (Live At Yankee Stadium - June 1990 - Bronx, NY - Yankee Stadium)Goodnight Saigon (Концерт - Live in the U.S.S.R - Summer 1987)She's Right On Time (December 20, 2021 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden)A Room of Our Own (12 Gardens Live - Spring 2006 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden)Surprises (March 21, 2014 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden)Scandinavian Skies (Live From Long Island - December 29, 1982 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum)Where's The Orchestra? (MTV Night School - Fall 1982)  ------     Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:     Discord:     Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 060 - MTV Night School 1982
May 24 2022
EP 060 - MTV Night School 1982
Years before Billy Joel started doing master classes, and long before MTV stopped showing music videos, there was Night School.    Broadcast in late 1982, Night School was a half-hour show on MTV where Billy fielded questions from an audience of young fans. Fresh off the success of The Nylon Curtain, he tells stories, gives some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the music industry and, of course, plays      piano.    The program turned out to be a one-off event. There was never a second episode or another version with a different host or musician. At the time, MTV was a new and untested concept, and Night School is a relic of when the channel was at its most daring and experimental.    The show is a diamond in the rough for Billy Joel fans. It’s currently only available on YouTube and it doesn’t get much mention in fan forums, biographies, or any official publications.    But, it features Billy in a great mood, cracking jokes and telling stories he’d refine and rehash for later interviews. It’s a rare, candid insight to the artist, in between the release of his most artistically ambitious album and just before the lighter, more pop-oriented An Innocent Man would launch him into the next level of superstardom with a new generation of fans.    Join us as we dig deep into Billy Joel’s MTV Night School from 1982.      ------     Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:     Discord:     Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 059 - Video Retrospective: The Video Album Volume I
May 10 2022
EP 059 - Video Retrospective: The Video Album Volume I
Billy Joel may not be the first artist that comes to mind when you think of MTV. But, he was making music videos before the landmark cable channel got its start in 1981.    A close look at those videos reveals the progression of the medium as it became more popular, more stylized, and more important as the decade went on.    A handful of those videos were released on home video in 1986 as Billy Joel: The Video Album Volume 1 and 2.   The first volume features 10 videos covering songs from 1973’s Piano Man through The Bridge album in 1986.    And, they run the gamut from pre-MTV promotional videos and bare-bones performances of hit songs, to surreal and conceptual visual re-imaginings of Billy’s songs.    There’s a lot to unpack as different directors put their stamp on various eras of Billy’s music. We get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the musicians and close readings of their performances. And, different angles on classic songs.    Join us, as we dig deep into Billy Joel: The Video Album Volume I. Watch the music videos featured on The Video Album Volume I. Music Videos: Piano ManAll For LeynaTell Her About ItHonestySometimes a FantasyThe Night Is Still YoungPressureStiletto / My LifeKeeping The FaithA Matter of Trust   ------     Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:     Discord:     Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 057 - Concert Classics: Kirin Dry Gigs ’88 - Tokyo, Japan
Apr 12 2022
EP 057 - Concert Classics: Kirin Dry Gigs ’88 - Tokyo, Japan
With the appearance of the Kirin Dry Gigs from 1988 appearing on YouTube earlier this year, a long-lost footnote in Billy Joel history has finally resurfaced.    This one-off gig in Japan finds Billy performing with just one member of his longtime touring band. They’re joined by players who performed on other tours in the 80s, musicians who would go on to tour with Billy in support of Storm Front, and a few guests who would only share the stage this one time.    That combination of musicians makes BIlly’s only major concert appearance from this year a unique and intriguing listen. The arrangements stay close to the Bridge tour and Russia shows, but streamline in places and stray in others.    And, the discerning ear may even notice a mistake or two from the temporary ensemble.    Join us, as we dig deep into BIlly’s show at the Tokyo Domein Japan on July 24, 1988.   Date: July 14, 1988 City/Country: Tokyo, Japan Venue: Tokyo Dome Event/Festival: Kirin Dry Gigs '88   The band: Billy Joel - Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, GuitarLiberty DeVitto - DrumsDavid Lebolt - KeyboardsSchuyler Deale - BassPeter Hewlett - Rhythm Guitar, VocalsJohn McCurry - Lead GuitarEric Bazilian - Saxophone   The Setlist:  A Matter of TrustPressureMiami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)HonestyThe StrangerAn Innocent ManBig Man On Mulberry StreetOnly The Good Die YoungIt's Still Rock And Roll To MeYou May Be RightBig ShotMy LifeKeeping The FatihBack In The U.S.S.R.I Saw Her Standing There  ------     Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com     Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:          Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 056 - Reimagining The Nylon Curtain with Johnny Lied
Mar 29 2022
EP 056 - Reimagining The Nylon Curtain with Johnny Lied
The Covid-19 pandemic and quarantines of 2020 caused disruptions in the music industry that we’re still feeling a few years later. But while we’re fortunate that the lack of live music will fade into memory, the releases of quarantine albums may very well add up to an interesting reflection of these unprecedented times.    With no opportunities to tour and limits on how and when musicians could gather to write and record songs, many artists created and recorded music in isolation. Or collaborated remotely to produce new music.    One of those projects was Johnny Lied, a collaboration between two longtime friends. Jon Herchert, a veteran Minnesota musician and accomplished producer John Fields used their time in 2020 to reimagine classic albums.    Their second effort was a full rearrangement and recording of Billy Joel’s The Nylon Curtain. The song-by-song remake stripped down Billy’s most meticulously-orchestrated album and built it back with entirely new instrumentation and perspective.    The duo released a song a week with accompanying videos on YouTube. As the last track hit the internet, we sat down with Herchert and Fields to learn about why they chose this album, how they recorded separately from each other, and how they see the album as relevant to the world today.    Along the way, we also talked about the state of the music industry today and got a glimpse of the Midwest rock scene.    Join us as we dig deep into a unique reimagining of The Nylon Curtain.   Listen to / watch Johnny Lied's unique take on The Nylon Curtain.   -----   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com   Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:        Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 055 - 2008 Tour, Walmart Vinyl, Billy Joel & Metallica Vegas Weekend
Mar 15 2022
EP 055 - 2008 Tour, Walmart Vinyl, Billy Joel & Metallica Vegas Weekend
2022 is turning out to be a big year for Billy Joel. Just by the end of February, fans enjoyed a unique weekend of music in a city where Billy doesn’t often play. And, new vinyl releases expanding on last year’s box set, include an album few fans have ever owned on vinyl before.    We’re covering these events in this episode while also looking at a much quieter, often overlooked point in Billy’s career: his 2008 tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.   By the end of the new century’s first decade. Billy’s career appeared to be winding down. It’d been seven years since his last release of new music, and 15 since his last pop album. And, his touring schedule was dwindling with fewer dates each year.    Billy would hit the road again with Elton John in 2009. For this year, however, fans would only get a handful of television appearances and a run of tour dates on the other side of the world from his home on Long Island.   He’d still be years away from the Garden residency that fueled a renewed interest in his live performances and a critical reassessment of his place in pop culture history. For those keeping score 14 years ago,  it may have looked like his number was up.    But, as we’ve seen just by the news this year, Billy still had a lot to offer.    Join us, as we recap the last few weeks of Billy Joel news, and dig deep into his 2008 tour.   Michael's  Billy Joel Walmart Vinyl Unboxing Video Michael's guest appearance on Metal Up Your Podcast   -----   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com   Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:          Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 052 - In Conversation with Billy Joel Art Director Edward O’Dowd
Feb 1 2022
EP 052 - In Conversation with Billy Joel Art Director Edward O’Dowd
If you’ve gone to one of Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden residency shows, saw one of his concerts near your hometown, or picked up any of his reissues or box sets over the past decade plus, then you’re familiar with the work of Edward O’Dowd.    Since 2008, the graphic designer and art director has created the iconic logos Billy uses for tour dates, show announcements, and album covers. He’s responsible for the “live” logo where photos of Billy are in the letters of his name as well as tour books and the Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden logo.    On record, he was instrumental in creating the Bridge to Russia cover and design as well as the Stranger and Piano Man box set concepts and designs. Most recently, he designed the booklet that accompanies the Vinyl Collection Volume One and carefully recreated each album’s original artwork and liner notes.    For this episode, we spoke with Edward O’Dowd about how he came to work with Billy. And the stories behind both creating new imagery for Joel’s work and recreating the classics.    O’Dowd tells us about the craft behind his work, the inspiration for the designs, and the state of the music industry in general. The conversation also celebrates the life of the late Jeff Schock, an important figure in Billy’s camp and with whom O’Dowd was close on both personal and professional levels.    Join us, as we dive deep into the man behind Billy Joel’s newest t-shirts, album covers, tour books, and more.    ------   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com   Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:        Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor
EP 050 - Havana Jam ’79 (with documentarian Ernesto Juan)
Jan 4 2022
EP 050 - Havana Jam ’79 (with documentarian Ernesto Juan)
Spread over three days in Cuba, the Havana Jam ‘79 featured Columbia recording artists alongside native musicians and bands. It was a monumental, historic event that hardly anyone knows about anymore.    But Ernesto Juan knows the story. And, he’s been trying to tell it for the past decade.    The Cuban-born journalist, documentarian and translator became engrossed with the festival around the time of its 30th anniversary in 2009. Since then, he’s been collecting interviews and footage with plans to release a feature-length film about the event.    He's also spoken at length with one of the concert’s biggest names: Billy Joel. And, Ernesto has near-exclusive audio recordings of the performance that hardly anyone knew existed.    Right before Billy and the band took the stage, Elizabeth Joel, Billy’s wife and manager at the time, ordered Columbia Records personnel to turn off all audio and visual recording. But, two bootleg copies exist, and both found their way to Ernesto.    Since then, he’s been flying all over the world gathering more first hand accounts and documents from an unprecedented three days of performances by American recording artists in Communist Cuba.    But the story goes well beyond the concert. In our own interview, Ernesto also talks about how Western music was villainized by Fidel Castro and his followers, but sought out by many others. He gives his perspective and memories of his homeland along with long-forgotten lore about the Havana Jam and striking up a friendship with Billy Joel.    In this special episode of Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast, Ernesto Juan joins us as we dig deep into Havana Jam ‘79, and what life was like decades ago in Cuba.   Havana Jam Links: ZuDhan Productions Website Contact: zudhanproductions@yahoo.com Havana Jam '79 on Facebook   ------   Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com   Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media: Website:        Support the podcast: Paypal: @MGrosvenor