On this day in 1973, the Piano Man himself would release 'Piano Man.' Although this was Billy Joel's second album, it was the one that would truly define him.
Take a look to see where he drew inspiration from for some of his most iconic songs.
"John at the bar", and "Davy, who's still in the Navy', were based off of real people. Joel worked at a piano bar in Los Angeles called 'The Executive Room', and working here would provide him the inspiration for his most iconic song of his career. Yahoo provides an in depth account of his time working at the piano bar, and even a photo of the bar that has since been demolished.
You're My Home
Speaking of 'The Executive Room', this is where Billy met his first wife - Elizabeth Weber. He would write several songs about her, and for her, including this one. It was a Valentine's Day gift because Joel was broke at the time which he states in the liner notes of the album.
The Ballad of Billy The Kid
Legend has it that this one is a tall tale, but Billy Joel has at least explained it's about an Oyster Bay (Long Island) bartender.
["The Ballad of Billy the Kid"] is about a bartender from Oyster Bay, a guy named Billy who used to tend bar at a place called Uwe's ... right on South Street. We all ended up at the pub at the end of the day and were entertained by the bartender. He was a very personable guy. It was just an exercise in Western-sounding things -- completely historically inaccurate." -Billy Joel via Newsday
This one is famously about a New York drug dealer. While it's roots might reside with NY, it was Philly that was responsible for propelling this song on the airwaves. Read more about the history of this classic on Philly Magazine.
Full Piano Man track list:
1. Travelin' Prayer
2. Piano Man
3. Ain't No Crime
4. You're My Home
5. The Ballad of Billy The Kid
6. Worse Comes to Worst
7. Stop In Nevada
8. If I Only Had The Words (To Tell You)
9. Somewhere Along The Line
10. Captain Jack