Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Big Shot” by Billy Joel
You know the Billy Joel story: Singer/songwriter from Hicksville, Long Island...multiple hit albums and singles since the 1970's...multiple marriages, including supermodel Christie Brinkley...monthly sell out concerts at Madison Square Garden...
And...Billy is a dad again...at 68! Welcome to the world, Remy Anne Joel!!
William Martin Joel is a...Big Shot.
"Big Shot" is one of Jersey's Favorite Hits!
You HEAR it on weekends, when the music comes out to play!
But...do you know who this hit single is about?
Over the years, Billy has been rather coy...saying that a song writer uses what he or she knows, for inspiration...
As you see and hear above, its about someone he was "very close to."
That was 1996...and the years raced on...
(Finally) In a 2010 radio interview, Billy Joel revealed that "Big Shot" is about...Bianca Jagger!
In the late 1970's, Bianca Jagger was the socialite...constant headline fodder...married to Mick Jagger.
At the time that Billy was writing the song, Mick and Bianca were (understandably) having marital problems.
They were divorced just before Billy's "52nd Street" album...
...hit the streets (October 13, 1978)..
What's interesting is that Billy Joel wrote the hit from (what he imagined as) Mick Jagger's perspective!
Further, he was thinking about HOW Mick would sing the song...as he (Billy) was recording it!
Billy was in the studio during July and August 1978, by the way.
Listen on-air...click on the video (below)...and listen...with this new knowledge!
"Big Shot" would make its way to #14 on the Hot 100 chart in the Spring of 1979.
It would be the second hit off the album ("My Life/Big Shot/Honesty").
The "52nd Street" album title is a reference to one of NYC's jazz centers at the time. 52nd Street was also the home to Joel's record label (CBS). The recording studio was also on 52nd Street!
"52nd Street" won the 1979 Grammy for "Album Of The Year."
It would be a #1 album in New Jersey, going 7x Platinum (7 million sales).
The album was produced by Phil Ramone, who was presented the award. Upon Ramone's death, the Grammy was passed on to Billy Joel.
Billy already has a 1979 Grammy, winning it for "Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Male."
Would you like more "Fun Facts?"
The album, of which "Big Shot" is a big part is notable for being the first album released commercially in the compact disc format! It debuted on CD in Japan on October 1, 1982.
I have my copy! (Funny...I can't find it right now! Did I (massively) misfile it? Or...did I loan in out, and not get it back? Probably. When will I ever learn?).
"Big Shot" is the name of a popular Long Island-based Billy Joel tribute band, formed by Mike DelGuidice in 2000.
When Billy Joel stopped touring in 2010, to recover from hip surgery, two of his band members joined Big Shot. When Billy returned to the tour circuit in 2013, he asked DelGuidice to be his stand-in at rehearsals. Then, DelGuidice was invited to join Billy's tour, providing support on vocals, and acoustic guitar!
Only a "big shot" like Billy Joel, right?
Enjoy "Big Shot" in a whole new perspective, on New Jersey 101.5...online here at nj1015.com...and on the New Jersey 101.5 app!