Billy Joel Musical Director and keyboardist Dave Rosenthal was interviewed for the October 2014 issue of Keyboard magazine. Check out interview outtakes and Dave's in-depth discussion about Billy's touring rig:
When you worked on the show Movin’ Out you talked about how you trained the piano players: the guys would come in and play what you described as barroom versions of the songs. What were some of the things you had to correct in their playing?
One of the things that makes Billy’s piano playing so unique is his voice leading; his inner voices and the inversions that he chooses. The way that his inner voices move is not an accident. He hears all that stuff and he crafts it into his songs. When you strip that away, even if you play the correct chords, it loses a lot of the character. A lot of the guys would get the basic gist of the chords—some of them right and some of them close—but sometimes the motion of the inner voices would be missing, and that’s what gives it the character. So that was one thing, and then a lot of guys would miss the details on some of the signature riffs.
Read more outtakes at Keyboard magazine.
Billy Joel Touring Rig
Part 1 of 5: Dave gives a tour of his on-stage keyboard rig.
Part 2 of 5: Dave continues the tour of his on-stage keyboard rig.
Part 3 of 5: Dave gives a tour of the off-stage part of his keyboard rig.
Part 4 of 5: Dave gives a tour of Billy’s off-stage piano rig.
Part 5 of 5: Dave demonstrates some of the sounds he uses and plays some musical excerpts.
Photos by Jeff Schock