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 1970s...multiple marriages, including supermodel Christie Brinkley...monthly sell-out concerts at Madison Square Garden...
And...Billy became a dad again...(October 22, 2017)...at age 68, with the birth of Remy Anne Joel.
William Martin Joel is a...Big Shot.
"Big Shot" is one of the Greatest Hits of the '70s, '80s, and More.
You HEAR it on the Night Shift...
But...do you know who this hit single is about?
Over the years, Billy has been rather coy...saying that a songwriter uses what he or she knows, for inspiration...
As you see and hear above, it's 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 1970s, 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, going 7x Platinum (7 million sales).
The album was produced by Phil Ramone, who was presented with 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 it 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 the Night Shift...online here at thenightshiftshow.com...
...and on the Night Shift with Craig Allen app.