Billy Joel Outs U2 For Using A Secret Backing Band

SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
edited December 2011 in Other Music
I don't know how much validity there is to this, but I thought it was funny at least. It is just his word against theirs, and with Billy you never know, he could have been drunk. Also I don't see why they would have a band under the stage as opposed to a backing track or something. But for what it's worth here's the story. And it could all be BS so you U2 superfans don't climb all over my ass about it.

Billy Joel performed with a lucky fan on Wednesday night (December 14th) during his latest "an evening of questions and answers. . . and a little music" lecture at the University of Massachusetts. The Boston Herald reported that Billy, who played the 900-seat Durgin Hall as part of his three lecture stops -- including Cornell University and the University of Connecticut -- took time out to perform "Leningrad" with 22-year-old student, David Schockett, and treated the crowd to a few killer imitations, including Bob Dylan, Elton John, and Ronald Reagan.

In the night's most notable moment, he outed U2 for deceiving fans who believe that the band is creating all the sounds they hear onstage, saying, "Bono's gonna kill me for this. . . " before recalling the tale of attending a U2 gig in New York City and discovering "an additional band of musicians bolstering the sound from beneath the stage."

He revealed, among other things, that the 1989 ballad "And So It Goes" was written about his failed brief romance with Elle Macpherson just prior to his marriage to Christie Brinkley. He called the tryst a "doomed relationship," explaining, "She was 19, I was 30, she's 6'2" and I'm 5'7. I saw a picture of us walking on the beach and I looked like Bubbles the Chimp."

He tossed aside one fan's question about him ever considering recording a Christmas album, saying that everybody does it without shame, jokingly adding, "Besides -- I'm a Jew!" He went on to perform a heartfelt version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," along with such other classics as "An Innocent Man," and "Piano Man," among others.
"See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
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Comments

  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    I don't know how much validity there is to this, but I thought it was funny at least. It is just his word against theirs, and with Billy you never know, he could have been drunk. Also I don't see why they would have a band under the stage as opposed to a backing track or something. But for what it's worth here's the story. And it could all be BS so you U2 superfans don't climb all over my ass about it.

    ive heard this too... and not from billy joel.
    hear my name
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  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • I don't really think this is a secret, there's a shot of the organ player at 3:41 in this video from the Rose Bowl DVD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2v4OH39UgM
  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    I don't really think this is a secret, there's a shot of the organ player at 3:41 in this video from the Rose Bowl DVD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2v4OH39UgM

    Well, they do have a keyboardist named Terry Lawless that plays beneath the stage, behind it, or wherever (maybe sometimes on, I don't know) depending on the setup, but he's not always acknowledged, but he's also not really a secret, although it's kind of low key, and not always credited as an additional musician. Though he is credited on the Rose Bowl DVD. Billy Joel is saying there are more musicians than just that.
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • solace23solace23 Posts: 704
    FreakIn Bono
  • arqarq Posts: 7,864
    Well, they do have a keyboardist named Terry Lawless that plays beneath the stage, behind it, or wherever (maybe sometimes on, I don't know) depending on the setup, but he's not always acknowledged...

    That's really low :evil: how in the world Bono is capable of raising his level of doucheness!
    "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it"
    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Why not (V) (°,,,,°) (V) ?
  • tigers84tigers84 Greenville, SCPosts: 457
    i know another band who hardly ever acknowledges their organ/piano parts. hmmmm.......who could that be??

    either way, the 2 best bands of the past 30 years.

    rock all the doucheness u want BONO!! just leave oprah at home please.
    BUGS IN THE WAY, I FEEL ABOUT YOU
  • normnorm I'm always home. I'm uncool.Posts: 31,147
    not sure what the big deal is...u2 fans have known this for years and we're ok with it


    but it gives the irrational haters of bono more fuel for their fire :roll:
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    norm wrote:
    not sure what the big deal is...u2 fans have known this for years and we're ok with it

    A whole band beneath the stage doesn't bother you? Whats the point of paying their high ticket prices if half of what you're listening to is actually comin from some no name schmucks under the stage?

    I love Zeppelin and would cut off all 4 limbs and pull out my eyes to see them, but if I knew they were gonna have a different band under the stage to cover for the missteps it wouldn't be worth my time, imo.
  • normnorm I'm always home. I'm uncool.Posts: 31,147
    DewieCox wrote:
    norm wrote:
    not sure what the big deal is...u2 fans have known this for years and we're ok with it

    A whole band beneath the stage doesn't bother you? Whats the point of paying their high ticket prices if half of what you're listening to is actually comin from some no name schmucks under the stage?

    I love Zeppelin and would cut off all 4 limbs and pull out my eyes to see them, but if I knew they were gonna have a different band under the stage to cover for the missteps it wouldn't be worth my time, imo.

    so if they are on the stage then it's ok but since they're below it's not worth it? ok, whatever you say...i go to concerts to hear music i like and i like u2's music
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    norm wrote:
    DewieCox wrote:
    norm wrote:
    not sure what the big deal is...u2 fans have known this for years and we're ok with it

    A whole band beneath the stage doesn't bother you? Whats the point of paying their high ticket prices if half of what you're listening to is actually comin from some no name schmucks under the stage?

    I love Zeppelin and would cut off all 4 limbs and pull out my eyes to see them, but if I knew they were gonna have a different band under the stage to cover for the missteps it wouldn't be worth my time, imo.

    so if they are on the stage then it's ok but since they're below it's not worth it? ok, whatever you say...i go to concerts to hear music i like and i like u2's music

    If it is like this particular scenario sounds then no. I'd rather go see the band from under the stage as a tribute band at a local bar for $5.

    If the U2 was under the stage b/c the stage was taken up by some sort of theatrics I would be fine with it.

    And I'm fine with a band augmenting their sound with outside musicians, but it seems like U2 is taking it several steps farther than that.

    Am I misunderstanding what they're doing?
  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    First of all, remember this is just Billy Joel saying it, it might not be 100% true. But since this came out I've read some comments from U2 fans saying they suspected it, or knew about it, or that they at least knew about Terry under there, even though he is rarely acknowledged.

    And the comparison to Boom is a little different, doesn't he at least get introduced every night? Isn't he ALWAYS on the stage?

    I've seen bands that use additional musicians. The Rolling Stones for example have about 10 additional people (including the backup singer ladies), but they are on the stage, get introduced every night, and often when they are playing in one of their home towns/states/country they are allowed to show off a little, get additional solos or whatever, and introduced to the crowd as the hometown boy/girl. I wouldn't have a problem with U2 having additional musicians (if this is true mind you) but I think it would be lame to hide them away and keep the spotlight to themselves. If the Stones can put their considerable egos aside to acknowledge the people that make them sound presentable, then I would think anybody can.

    I have also heard rumors that Pink Floyd used to do this some back in the day, but I can't find anymore evidence for that than I can find for this, which is essentially Bill Joel's accusation and some message board posts that "confirm" it, or at least confirm suspicion.
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • normnorm I'm always home. I'm uncool.Posts: 31,147
    most of what goes on under the stage is augmentation...keyboards, additional guitar and i think extra percussion...and it's not for every song but for the more recent albums...but edge, larry and adam are all playing...even bono busts out the guitar from time to time...but they want to play their songs as they are presented on the albums and that requires extra musicians...could they put them on stage? sure...but since i believe they are used infrequently (not every song requires all of them) they've decided to put them backstage (or understage)
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    norm wrote:
    most of what goes on under the stage is augmentation...keyboards, additional guitar and i think extra percussion...and it's not for every song but for the more recent albums...but edge, larry and adam are all playing...even bono busts out the guitar from time to time...but they want to play their songs as they are presented on the albums and that requires extra musicians...could they put them on stage? sure...but since i believe they are used infrequently (not every song requires all of them) they've decided to put them backstage (or understage)

    IC....Then that's not really a big deal to me. As choreographed as I would think their shows need to be for the show maybe it's necessary.

    I was thinking they had a band playing along with them under the stage and any for any mishaps the sound guy would mix in the other band.
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    I have also heard rumors that Pink Floyd used to do this some back in the day, but I can't find anymore evidence for that than I can find for this, which is essentially Bill Joel's accusation and some message board posts that "confirm" it, or at least confirm suspicion.

    I know Waters definitely uses a backing track for trouble vocal spots, nowadays.

    Didn't Floyd have a "surrogate band" for The Wall tour back in 80 that would mime along while the actual band was playing?

    I've listened to some of live Floyd and I don't really see how they could've done it, judging from what you can hear. Was Snowy White ever credited or introduced on their later tours?
  • normnorm I'm always home. I'm uncool.Posts: 31,147
    DewieCox wrote:
    I was thinking they had a band playing along with them under the stage and any for any mishaps the sound guy would mix in the other band.

    oh god i hope not...however, i'm sure there have been times where things have been "fixed" during a show by the gremlins underneath the stage...but i think that's usually bono's guitar tech helping out ;):lol:
  • merkinballmerkinball Posts: 2,262
    Fleetwood Mac did this on their last tour. There was a drummer hiding behind Mick that was playing along.
    "You're no help," he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could.

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  • DewieCox wrote:
    norm wrote:
    most of what goes on under the stage is augmentation...keyboards, additional guitar and i think extra percussion...and it's not for every song but for the more recent albums...but edge, larry and adam are all playing...even bono busts out the guitar from time to time...but they want to play their songs as they are presented on the albums and that requires extra musicians...could they put them on stage? sure...but since i believe they are used infrequently (not every song requires all of them) they've decided to put them backstage (or understage)

    IC....Then that's not really a big deal to me. As choreographed as I would think their shows need to be for the show maybe it's necessary.

    I was thinking they had a band playing along with them under the stage and any for any mishaps the sound guy would mix in the other band.

    No, there's not a full band playing along with U2. Trust me, they would not fit under the stage, with all the other (mixing) equipment that is there. Yes, Terry Lawless did augment the sound with keyboards on the last tour, but as noted that was not being kept secret. In fact, Bono often gave a shout out to him when some prominent keyboard part was coming on (mostly during Unknown Caller).
  • PJRock75PJRock75 Posts: 868
    I regret to say that I have heard Water's Wall tour is all prerecorded and it's just theatrics....sucks having spent $1000 for 2 shows and wanting to go see it again. It definitely makes a difference to me if the band is playing it or faking it.
    "If you want a friend, feed any animal." - JA
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  • djklambakedjklambake PHX, AZPosts: 2,510
    Popmartijn wrote:

    Goddammit so much...
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  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    Popmartijn wrote:

    Yeah, that's from "It Might Get Loud", good movie. I would probably be a little more put off by The Edge if he actually acted like he were some guitar god, but he's pretty humble and honest about the fact that he's about 20% talent and 80% technology/effects.
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • Yeah, that's from "It Might Get Loud", good movie. I would probably be a little more put off by The Edge if he actually acted like he were some guitar god, but he's pretty humble and honest about the fact that he's about 20% talent and 80% technology/effects.
    I think the real talent is how he uses those effects.
    Believe me, when I was growin up, I thought the worst thing you could turn out to be was normal, So I say freaks in the most complementary way. Here's a song by a fellow freak - E.V
  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    Yeah, that's from "It Might Get Loud", good movie. I would probably be a little more put off by The Edge if he actually acted like he were some guitar god, but he's pretty humble and honest about the fact that he's about 20% talent and 80% technology/effects.
    I think the real talent is how he uses those effects.

    Well I'm not talking about originality, ingenuity, etc. He's not completely worthless, and he is unique. I'm just talking about technical skill, which admittedly is not all it takes to be a guitarist. He's a good composer/songwriter, but isn't the most skilled player. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have guitarists like Eric Clapton or Mick Taylor who are extremely skilled players, but have next to no songwriting skills.
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • i dont think this means anything. in fact i know it doesnt. The 4 of them write the music, play their instruments, and write the lyrics. Anything else, anyone else creating the music or helping them on the album is listed in the liner notes of every album, or under each specific song. Thats the way it is for every single band in history. Beefing up a bands sound is never rare. The Black Keys no longer are just a 2 piece band in studio nor in a live setting. I saw PJ in seattle in 2009 and they had a whole string section play with them.

    Translating songs live is alot different than creating songs in studio, as anyone who has ever been to a concert and seen a band play a song different than they played it on the cd can attest to.

    This is a non issue. Its cool now to dislike u2. This isnt milli vanilli. They all can sing and write and play.

    Plus, the whole "band under the floor" idea sounds crackpot conspiracy to me. If people know about it, and videotaped it and put it on youtube, its hardly a coverup. Its not like you cant see or talk to these musicians. They arent being flown away on jets after the show so as to prevent them from spilling the beans on this thing. If it was some sort of coverup, no one would know about it and no one would be able to film it. Plus, you really think if they wanted to keep this a secret, which if it were some coverup, they would, why would they show an organ player on the 360 screen, those are images i assume approved if not by the band, then their managers at the show, and then to have it be broadcast on a DVD?

    Plus their live shows are legendary for being pretty out there and over the top. The whole 360 idea, the winding stage where fans and the band are mingling basically, maybe the musicians "under the floor" didnt want to be up top, maybe they felt it would be better to be "under ground" for these types of shows and the stage setup?

    Non issue.
  • direwolf74direwolf74 Posts: 1,622
    i dont think this means anything. in fact i know it doesnt. The 4 of them write the music, play their instruments, and write the lyrics. Anything else, anyone else creating the music or helping them on the album is listed in the liner notes of every album, or under each specific song. Thats the way it is for every single band in history. Beefing up a bands sound is never rare. The Black Keys no longer are just a 2 piece band in studio nor in a live setting. I saw PJ in seattle in 2009 and they had a whole string section play with them.

    Translating songs live is alot different than creating songs in studio, as anyone who has ever been to a concert and seen a band play a song different than they played it on the cd can attest to.

    This is a non issue. Its cool now to dislike u2. This isnt milli vanilli. They all can sing and write and play.

    Plus, the whole "band under the floor" idea sounds crackpot conspiracy to me. If people know about it, and videotaped it and put it on youtube, its hardly a coverup. Its not like you cant see or talk to these musicians. They arent being flown away on jets after the show so as to prevent them from spilling the beans on this thing. If it was some sort of coverup, no one would know about it and no one would be able to film it. Plus, you really think if they wanted to keep this a secret, which if it were some coverup, they would, why would they show an organ player on the 360 screen, those are images i assume approved if not by the band, then their managers at the show, and then to have it be broadcast on a DVD?

    Plus their live shows are legendary for being pretty out there and over the top. The whole 360 idea, the winding stage where fans and the band are mingling basically, maybe the musicians "under the floor" didnt want to be up top, maybe they felt it would be better to be "under ground" for these types of shows and the stage setup?

    Non issue.

    Totally agree. And there is no secret band under the stage. As already mentioned, they do have an extra keyboard player who plays on the occasional song and programs backing tracks, etc... They actually showed part of the guy's setup on some show (can't remember when I saw it exactly) where a camera crew was doing a tour of the 360 stage with all the computers and mixing equipment below and backstage. But there's no "secret band". It's a myth created by people who hate U2 and want desperately to find some idiotic reason to crap on them.
    "I try my best to chug, stomp, weep, whisper, moan, wheeze, scat, blurt, rage, whine, and seduce. With my voice I can sound like a girl, the boogieman, a Theremin, a cherry bomb, a clown, a doctor, a murderer. I can be tribal. Ironic. Or disturbed. My voice is really my instrument."

    -Tom Waits
  • acutejamacutejam Posts: 1,433
    Had read this about the '99 Black Sabbath tour, that a guitarist was offstage playing rhyhm guitar to help Iommi transfer from lead back to rhythm parts -- but that Iommi would eventually pick up the baton and keep running. I was like 7th row or something and never noticed a thing. Likewise on the latest U2 tour, I was 4-5 people back from the fly-way, and when the Edge came out and solo'd in front of me, yeah, that was him playing that. Lil augmentation here and there no prob. This ain't like a Simpson or Millie Vanilli bs. (or ANY of the horrid pop singer's lip syncing, I mean c'mon, don't all these pop stars just lip sync now? How they hell are they doing those dance moves and still breathing normal while singing?)
    [sic] happens
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    acutejam wrote:
    ANY of the horrid pop singer's lip syncing, I mean c'mon, don't all these pop stars just lip sync now? How they hell are they doing those dance moves and still breathing normal while singing?

    Hell, they even fake pregnancies. :lol:
  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    DewieCox wrote:
    acutejam wrote:
    ANY of the horrid pop singer's lip syncing, I mean c'mon, don't all these pop stars just lip sync now? How they hell are they doing those dance moves and still breathing normal while singing?

    Hell, they even fake pregnancies. :lol:

    Who did that?
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 11,298
    DewieCox wrote:
    acutejam wrote:
    ANY of the horrid pop singer's lip syncing, I mean c'mon, don't all these pop stars just lip sync now? How they hell are they doing those dance moves and still breathing normal while singing?

    Hell, they even fake pregnancies. :lol:

    Who did that?

    Beyonce...She was on some show and when she bent over to sit down her "baby bump" sorta folded in half, and her due date has mysteriously moved up a few months.
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