Back in January, I challenged my colleague Liel Leibovitz to open his ears and heart and give Billy Joel a musical re-evaluation. He graciously agreed to listen to some lesser-known Billy Joel tunes, but like Pharoah, his heart was hard, his neck was stiff, and he would likely rather sacrifice his first born son before letting The Stranger appear on his iPod.
To counter Liel’s charge that Joel is a misanthrope, I take any chance I have to showcase Joel’s menschiness and celebrate the man who was cursed enough to outlive his integrity.
Since it’s Joel’s 64th birthday, I thought I’d go pop again and remind
Liel the world what joy Billy Joel once brought the world. Take, for instance, this music video for “Keeping the Faith.” Though one of his better known nostalgia-leaden songs, the music video for the song itself is a 1980s time capsule.
Showered with excessive shoulder-shimmies, a courtroom drama theme, and even a winking cameo by Joe Piscopo(!), it freezes a moment in time when a guy like Billy Joel–ugly, fearless in his white shoe swagger, dancing (badly), acting (badly)–could still manage to win the heart of a supermodel, like Christie Brinkley, who pops up in the video and promptly steals the show.
(I should warn you: I permanently damaged two friendships by insisting that they watch this music video for the first time after years of only hearing the audio.)