In 1987, Billy Joel and his band embarked on an unprecedented tour of the Soviet Union. And, when the original documentary “A Matter of Trust” came out, fans got a behind-the-scenes look at what turned out to be a controversial career move.
At the time, the country was still under Communist rule, shrouded in secrecy, and, to put it mildly, deeply mistrusted by the West. Even many of Billy’s fans opposed the tour, even booing him at concerts when he announced the trip.
But, Billy and his companions were greeted by warm, welcoming people behind the Iron Curtain. And, they were introduced to a rich culture steeped in centuries of tradition that was also evolving with the latest trends and styles found in the United States and Europe.
Those people and interactions turned out to be the focus of the tour and film that documented it. Along with plenty of performance footage, including a well-known onstage catastrophe, the bulk of the footage is Billy and the band meeting families, new friends, and fellow musicians from the other side of the world.
For this episode, we’re reviewing the original documentary from 1987 with a new introduction added in 1991. We’re thinking about how the behind-the-scenes footage informs the performances, and what it’s like watching a meeting of disparate cultures today in 2023.
Join us as we dig deep into “A Matter of Trust.”
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Produced by Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno for Groove Music Marketing