Billy Joel Newcastle City Hall 1979

Billy Joel Newcastle City Hall 1979
billyjoeltix I’ve only seen Billy Joel once in concert, when he played Newcastle City Hall in 1979 on the 52nd Street tour of Europe. By the time he came to tour the UK for this, his first time, Billy was a seasoned performer and had released six albums, including the acclaimed “The Stranger” in 1977. He had also hit the singles chart with Movin’ Out, The Piano Man, Just the Way You Are, My Life, and She’s Always a Woman. Check out the picture of that young guy holding a trumpet on the front cover of the tour programme 🙂 billyjoelprog It was during this tour that: “in a hotel room in Paris, Billy received a middle of the night transatlantic phone call informing him that Just The Way You Are had captured “Record Of The Year,” and “Song of The Year,” giving Billy his first two Grammy Awards” (Wiki). I went along to the gig with my friend Ian, and we both enjoyed seeing the piano man sing and play his songs in the intimate setting of the City Hall. Mega stardom was to come a few years later with Uptown Girl. Setlist: The Stranger; Zanzibar; Stiletto; Vienna; My Life; New York State of Mind; Captain Jack; Movin’ Out; Until the Night; Only the Good Die Young; Miami 2017; Big Shot; Just the Way You Are; Rosalinda’s Eyes; She’s Always a Woman; Honesty; The Ballad of Billy the Kid; Piano Man; Scenes From an Italian Restaurant; 52nd Street.

4 responses to this post.

  1. The thing I remember about this gig, which I went to with the girl I was going out with at the time Louise, was that Billy had positioned his piano on the right of the stage which meant that no one on the balcony on that side could see him and there were a lot of heckles to that effect. I seem to recall at one point Billy Joel putting an end to them by saying something like it’s a grand piano not a guitar – I can’t just pick it up and move across the stage! (I think most people ended up moving round to the other side in the end)

    Standing outside after the gig the band came out and got onto the coach without stopping or even acknowledging the crowd who were standing there – My friend commented something like “Bye Billy it’ll be the last time we see you here, see you at Wembley next time” and how right he was!


  2. First of all – super blog mate, I wouldn’t know where to start with such an undertaking, and I haven’t been as stringent and disciplined as you as keeping my ticket stubs, alas. In regard to the above concert, you’re dead on, it was great to see the ‘piano man’ in such an intimate venue, I went along with my friend Anthony who was a huge fan of Mr Joel. Magnificent songwriter and he sang beautifully. Saw him again at Sheffield Hallam Arena in 2006 and he was equally great, his roadie got his own spot, doing a version of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, which I’m not making up, hah…


    • Posted by vintagerock on July 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks Gavin

      Pleased you enjoy reading my blog. Yes it took a lot of work over many years

      Happy days Peter


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