From a Tribute Band to the Real Thing: How Mike DelGuidice Became Billy Joel’s Right Hand Piano Man

It’s a Monday night at New York’s Madison Square Garden and Billy Joel is on stage for his record 44th consecutive show. As the legendary singer-songwriter rips through hits, from the rambling history lesson of a show opener “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to the multiple-songs-within-a-song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” his band slickly keeps up with every beat and note. Even when Joel gives the audience a choice (do they want to hear “Just the Way You Are” or “Vienna,” with the crowd cheering for the latter), the band cooly kicks in to support. Throughout it all, there’s an important, yet seemingly inconspicuous presence on stage along with Joel: Mike DelGuidice, a member of Joel’s band from the very beginning of his Garden run, is on backup piano and guitar duty.

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