At one point during Saturday’s Hollywood Bowl concert, the first of three debut-dates for Billy Joel, he performed “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” Per a review by Orange County Register critic Ben Wener, he told the audience he hasn’t performed that one live since the 1980s and joked that it might quickly turn into a “rock ’n’ roll screw-up.”
Meanwhile, in his write-up, LA Times critic Randall Roberts leads with some information shared Saturday that probably surprised many in the 17,000-plus audience. The origins of one of Joel’s most famous hits:
“Here’s a song I wrote when I was working at Wilshire and Western,” Billy Joel said Saturday during his first-ever performance at the Hollywood Bowl, introducing “Piano Man” from 1973. The detail no doubt came as a surprise to many who consider Joel an archetypal New Yorker and the record a celebration of city life.