Archive for Glasshouses

30 Days Out Exclusive Interview: Liberty DeVitto, former drummer for Billy Joel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by 30daysout

Whenever I would buy a ticket to see BIlly Joel, I was also buying a ticket to see his drummer, Liberty DeVitto. DeVitto has always been my favorite drummer. I started taking lessons after I saw him play. He plays with power and passion and always looks like he is having the time of his life behind his kit. To me, he was the heart and soul behind Billy Joel’s music.

After years of recording and touring with Joel, the two had a falling out and he is now no longer part of the “Billy Joel Band.” I was always curious about what happened because they seemed to have a great rapport, both on and off stage.

Hunting around MySpace the other night I came across DeVitto’s page. I sent him an email and told him how much he inspired me and how I thought Joel’s current band wasn’t the same without him. I never thought I would get a reply, but I did. It’s quite a thrill when you can converse with one of your heroes and find out he’s one of the good guys. Anyway, DeVitto has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about his days with Joel, his split with Joel and what he’s doing now.

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(Nearly) 30 Years Out: Billy Joel, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, 1979

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2008 by 30daysout

 

“We don’t have an album coming out until sometime next year, we just came to play” is how Billy Joel addressed the sold out crowd at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in November, 1979. “However, we are going to try out a few new tunes on you tonight…this is called “All For Leyna.” Joel also debuted “Sometimes A Fantasy,” and “You May Be Right” on this night from what would turn out to be one of his biggest selling albums, Glasshouses, released three months later.

I became a Billy Joel fan after I heard The Stranger (I will have a review of the 30th anniversary edition next week) at a 7th grade party in 1978. When tickets went on sale, we stood in line (back when you had to do such things) and got four pretty good seats. I remember the arena workers going on strike a few weeks before the show and as it got closer, there was a chance it would have to be re-scheduled. But all’s well that ends well, an agreement was reached, and the show went on. (STYX had to cancel their show, but then again, who cares?).

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