BillyJoel.com is pleased to announce a new section on the website called “Questions & Answers.” This section will feature one Q&A per week, every Wednesday, drawing from a vast archive of Master Classes that reach back to the early ‘80s and evolve with minor variations through recent years. The Q&A’s will exist as their own archive on the site, as we compile each clip into a collection for you to view on demand.
You may ask — and you may know — how did Billy first get interested in the Q&A series? We have Eddie Simon, brother and manager of Paul Simon, to thank for organizing Billy’s first lecture, which took place at Eddie’s Guitar Study Center. “We called them Master Classes, bringing world class, master artists, together with music students of all disciplines i.e. Folk, Jazz, Rock and Classical,” Eddie recalls. “Billy’s first lecture took place for us at A&R Recording Studios, in New York City. I think there is an audiotape, somewhere, and he was incredible. He really enjoyed the exchange with our students and discovered a new way of interacting with his audience in a small venue. He took the lecture to a new level, making it fun and entertaining.”
These are not media interviews but rather an extemporaneous dialogue between Billy and an audience of next generation composers, performers, artists, and producers. This is not a concert, it is simply “Questions and Answers and a little music” as the program would be first billed at Princeton University. With its start in a New York recording studio, the series evolved with two more guest lectures at the New School, and after slight refinements, a tour of colleges commenced in ‘94 and ‘96, and it became a TV special “In His Own Words” which aired on A&E in November 2001. Honest, unformatted and unrehearsed, “Questions and Answers” has only one agenda: “Axe” a good question and you’ll get a good answer.