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Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast

Music Podcasts

Join lifelong Billy Joel fans, Michael and Jack, as they take deep dives in to Billy’s history, songs, albums, tours, band members and more.

Join lifelong Billy Joel fans, Michael and Jack, as they take deep dives in to Billy’s history, songs, albums, tours, band members and more.


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Join lifelong Billy Joel fans, Michael and Jack, as they take deep dives in to Billy’s history, songs, albums, tours, band members and more.






EP 031 - Awards Show Appearances Part 1 + Conversation with Evan Toth

Billy Joel is no stranger to awards shows and other accolades. Following 1977’s The Stranger, he’s won a handful of industry awards, was nominated for plenty more, and gave a few memorable — and in, one case, literally show stopping — performances. And, when you’re tracking award show appearances over three decades, you also start noticing trends and changes within the industry and its major players over the years. But before taking a look back, we have some exciting news for Billy...


EP 030 - Interpreting Billy Part 1 (with Michael Cavanaugh)

After 1993’s River of Dreams, fans waited and wondered if Billy Joel would ever release another pop album. The answer, as we know now, turned out to be no. But, nearly a decade after that release, we saw a new development for Billy’s music. The first years of the new century saw three new releases that featured Billy Joel’s music, but without him playing on two of them. In 2001, Sony Music released the two-disc Essential Billy Joel. But, in terms of new music, Billy also released...


EP 029 - Album Retrospective: River of Dreams

Billy Joel’s last album is a study in contrasts. It sounds like a new beginning, when it was really the end of an era. It alternated between gritty, angular rhythms and sweet, flowing melodies. It’s arguably one of his most divisive albums. Yet it earned him a handful of award nominations, a new generation of fans, 5 million in record sales in America alone, and a pair of songs that would become classics and mainstays in his live shows River of Dreams was released on August 10, 1993. It’s...


EP 028 - Year In Review: 1971

Apart from the botched release of Cold Spring Harbor, 1971 was a surprisingly low-key year for Billy Joel. His teenage band collapsed a few years before. And the proto-metal power duo that rose from its ashes failed to gain any traction. Broke, depressed, and aimless, Billy was ready to leave the music industry for good. And, he may have done just that, if his manager at the time didn’t come through with a last-minute deal. Of course, that deal would haunt Billy for years to come....


EP 027 - The Bridge Tour 1986-87

It’s easy to overlook most of Billy Joel’s The Bridge Tour concert dates from 1986 and 1987. The shows, which spanned four continents, were in support of one of Billy’s arguably weakest albums. Meanwhile, these dates are eclipsed by the handful of landmark shows he played in the USSR at the tail end of the tour. But it turns out there’s enough going on to warrant a closer look. Perhaps most notably, we know now that these were the last dates to feature the core Lords of 52nd Street...


EP 026 - Superfan Round Table #1

This may be the beginning of 2021, but this installment marks the end of our first 12 months of episodes. So, we decided to do something special for the occasion. We’re hosting a round table with some of the biggest Billy Joel fans we know. It’s an opportunity for us all to chat about the music we love. Our conversation uncovered new stories about Billy and the band that we’d never heard. And, we got a glimpse of just how fun and tight knit the fan community can be. Our guests on...


EP 025 - Year In Review: 1976

WIlliam Martin Joel had released three solo albums by the beginning of 1976. In many ways, however, that was the year he became the Billy we all know today. It was the year he recorded and released Turnstiles, finally winning his battle with CBS records to cut an album with his touring band. That band, of course, was now almost entirely the classic Lord of 52nd Street lineup. By then, Billy and his wife Elizabeth had moved from California back to New York. In the process he jettisoned...


EP 024 - Looking Forward & Looking Back (with Love Raptor & Bradshaw Leigh)

We’re kicking off 2021 with a look back and a look forward at Billy Joel’s work, his fans, and the music industry in general. This episode features two sets of interviews. The first is with Mikhail Pivovarov and Billy Ruegger from the online music collective Love Raptor. We’ll go behind the scenes of their funk covers of “Movin’ Out” and “She’s Got A Way” and also talk about some of the latest trends when it comes to new musical artists today. Then, it’s the return of Bradshaw Leigh,...


EP 023 - Phil Ramone (with Bradshaw Leigh & Russell Javors)

When it comes to Billy Joel’s most successful run of albums, you can’t talk about the man behind the piano without also talking about the man behind the board: Phil Ramone. By the time Phil and Billy teamed up, Ramone was already a renowned engineer and innovator in the recording studio. His discography included landmark albums by Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Paul Simon and Elton John, along with soundtracks, musicals, and live recordings. Working primarily at Ramone’s own...


EP 022 - 2006-2007 World Tour

Billy Joel’s World Tour from 2006 through 2007 turned out to be a true page-turner in his career. He’d played virtually no concerts the previous two years. And by the end of 2003 his performances were getting just a little stale. But, you’d never know that from the 110 or so dates he mounted when he got back into touring mode. And, from all the high-quality footage that’s available, he seemed more energetic and excited about playing live than he’d been for a while. The biggest change...


EP 021 - Glass Houses Playlist #2

This holiday week, settle in with some classic songs, a small glimpse into the Philadelphia music scene, and some exciting new artists making music today! This is our second playlist episode, where Jack and Michael take turns playing DJ to spin some tunes and tell some stories behind them. Jack’s on the turntable (literally, in some cases) this time to bring you: All You Wanna Do Is Dance: Classic Songs Ripped Directly From 45s My Life: Songs Featuring Jack On Drums Keeping...


EP 020 - Concert Classics: Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, 1974

Date: May 14, 1974 City/State: Boston, MA Venue: Orpheum Theatre Supporting: Jesse Colin Young & Livingston Taylor The Setlist: ------ In less than 50 minutes, the bootleg recording of Billy Joel at the Orpheum Theater in 1974 reveals the trajectory of his career up to that point and hints toward the challenges and major changes to come. It’s not his most popular bootleg, but as a warts-and-all snapshot of this moment, it’s surprisingly revelatory. The show, recorded on May...


EP 019 - Year In Review: 1983

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. If that’s true, then the sun rose for Billy Joel in 1983. That’s not to say things were bleak before then. But the past year or so carried a more somber tone. In 1982, Billy was in a bad motorcycle accident that left his hands severely injured for months. Despite this, he completed, released, and toured behind The Nylon Curtain. That album is arguably his most ambitious, and also his most serious and thematically heavy release. But, that all...


EP 018 - Billy Joel Cover Songs By Other Artists

Sometimes, the best way to find out what makes a songwriter special is hearing someone else sing their songs. Listening to how other artists interpret their work brings out aspects of the music that weren’t as obvious before. That’s what Michael and Jack discovered when they put this episode together. This week, They're diving into versions of Billy Joel songs performed by other people. To do it, we compiled more than two dozen versions of Billy’s music performed by other artists. For...


EP 017 - Album Retrospective: Streetlife Serenade

1974 saw Billy Joel back in the studio mere months after 1973's Piano Man. Billy wasn't ready for a new album but pushed his way through to complete Streetlife Serenade which was released October 11, 1974 on Columbia Records. The album peaked at #35 on the album charts and featured the single "The Entertainer," which is the sole song that has gotten a significant amount of live performances since its release. Michael & Jack discuss this often forgotten and under documented album and...


EP 016 - Billy Joel 1970s TV Appearances

Artists who rose to stardom in the 1970s were the first generation to have that rise documented on TV cameras. Billy Joel was no exception. Michael & Jack comb through as many of Billy's 1970's TV appearances as they could find to share their observations along the way. Watching these in chronological order, you really get the feel with how Billy's stage presence and live band developed throughout the decade. Join us as we discuss all things Billy Joel on TV in the 1970s. Appearances...


EP 015 - Year In Review: 2003

The year was 2003 and once again, Billy was at a crossroads. He mounted a shorter Face To Face tour with Elton John before taking one of the longest hiatuses of his career which would stretch into the end of 2005. Michael & Jack chronicle a year in which saw depression, Billy vocally discussing retiring, and the end end of the professional relationship with the longest tenured band member. But the year wasn't all bad. Billy & Twyla Tharp launched the hugely successful broadway show Movin'...


EP 014 - 1987 Tour of Russia

The year was 1987. Billy and the band were well into their tour supporting The Bridge album. An incredible opportunity came along that would change everyone involved's life forever. Billy Joel and his band became the first American pop act to bring a full-scale touring production to Russia. While other US artists had played behind the Iron Curtain before, never had the Russians experienced a full on rock show until now. Join Michael & Jack as they go back to 1987 and discuss this...


EP 013 - Video Retrospective: Shades of Grey

In 1993, Billy Joel began work on what would become his final pop studio album, River of Dreams. What began with he and his live band tracking in a makeshift studio in a boathouse on the east end of Long Island, ended with a new producer, new musicians, and a new direction. Michael & Jack revisit the Shades of Grey documentary that chronicles the journey of arguably Billy Joel's most personal album to date. ------ Email us: Glass Houses - A Billy Joel...


EP 012 - In Conversation with drummer Liberty DeVitto

Liberty DeVitto is the drummer that Billy Joel chose to record those unforgettable albums and memorable tours between 1975 and 2005. Michael & Jack discuss his brand new autobiography Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness which is out now from Hudson Music. Join us for a special candid conversation with Liberty DeVitto as he discusses the book and much more. In this episode, Michael & Jack also share their thoughts after reading the book which chronicles Liberty's family...