Years before Billy Joel started doing master classes, and long before MTV stopped showing music videos, there was Night School.
Broadcast in late 1982, Night School was a half-hour show on MTV where Billy fielded questions from an audience of young fans. Fresh off the success of The Nylon Curtain, he tells stories, gives some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the music industry and, of course, plays piano.
The program turned out to be a one-off event. There was never a second episode or another version with a different host or musician. At the time, MTV was a new and untested concept, and Night School is a relic of when the channel was at its most daring and experimental.
The show is a diamond in the rough for Billy Joel fans. It’s currently only available on YouTube and it doesn’t get much mention in fan forums, biographies, or any official publications.
But, it features Billy in a great mood, cracking jokes and telling stories he’d refine and rehash for later interviews. It’s a rare, candid insight to the artist, in between the release of his most artistically ambitious album and just before the lighter, more pop-oriented An Innocent Man would launch him into the next level of superstardom with a new generation of fans.
Join us as we dig deep into Billy Joel’s MTV Night School from 1982.
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