How Billy Joel Tribute-Band Leader Landed Gig With the Real Piano Man

Sixteen years ago, Mike DelGuidice was a 30-year-old musician living with his young children in a trailer on Long Island and scraping by on gigs at bars, weddings and the occasional funeral. He wrote his own songs, but always got his biggest reaction from crowds when he covered 1970s heavyweights like James Taylor, Elton John and, especially, his idol Billy Joel. Soon, he was struck with an idea. “I had heard about this Dave Matthews tribute band on Long Island that was drawing huge crowds,” DelGuidice remembers. “I had been doing Billy Joel since high school. I was like, ‘Maybe I should do a tribute band.'”

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