A Kid Takes a Shot With The Piano Man

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It is perplexing to figure out why some Youtube videos goes viral and others remain in the dark.  Not this story….

When Vanderbilt University student Michael Pollack accompanied Billy Joel on “New York State of Mind” it quickly spread, with over 2.5mm views and many outlets picking up the story.

Sometimes in life, you need to throw caution to the wind and just take a shot.

Michael may or may not make it in the music business.  Either way in his own words, taking a shot gave him the greatest moment of his life.  And provided one hell of a clip for millions at the same time


He tells InsideVandy that:

“So I decided I was gonna go see Billy Joel right when we found out he was coming, and as a childhood idol of mine, right away I knew what I wanted to do when we went there. … And the day came, I put together a question, and I was raising my hand, and my friends to the right of me kept pointing to me, and finally after a few questions he picked on me and I hesitantly said how ‘New York State of Mind’ was my favorite song, and how I had performed it with his saxophonist Richie Cannata in the past and wondered if I could go up and play it with him. And then he thought for a little — he took a second — and then he just said ‘Okay.’ …

“I’ve been playing [the song] for at least eight years now … it’s one of my favorites by him. … I had to tune up a little and learn the bridge one more time before the show just in case he called on me. But for the most part, it was by ear. …

“I kind of lost myself playing. Then afterward he said to me … he said that I was great, where are you from … and I said, ‘I’m a Long Islander just like you.’ He was like, ‘Cool.’ Then I walked off, and that was it … It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date.”


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