EP 052 – In Conversation with Billy Joel Art Director Edward O’Dowd

If you’ve gone to one of Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden residency shows, saw one of his concerts near your hometown, or picked up any of his reissues or box sets over the past decade plus, then you’re familiar with the work of Edward O’Dowd. 

Since 2008, the graphic designer and art director has created the iconic logos Billy uses for tour dates, show announcements, and album covers. He’s responsible for the “live” logo where photos of Billy are in the letters of his name as well as tour books and the Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden logo. 

On record, he was instrumental in creating the Bridge to Russia cover and design as well as the Stranger and Piano Man box set concepts and designs. Most recently, he designed the booklet that accompanies the Vinyl Collection Volume One and carefully recreated each album’s original artwork and liner notes. 

For this episode, we spoke with Edward O’Dowd about how he came to work with Billy. And the stories behind both creating new imagery for Joel’s work and recreating the classics. 

O’Dowd tells us about the craft behind his work, the inspiration for the designs, and the state of the music industry in general. The conversation also celebrates the life of the late Jeff Schock, an important figure in Billy’s camp and with whom O’Dowd was close on both personal and professional levels. 

Join us, as we dive deep into the man behind Billy Joel’s newest t-shirts, album covers, tour books, and more. 


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