A now viral video shows Billy Joel stopping to play a ragtime-type tune on a discarded piano in Long Island, New York

By Brianne Tracy
July 16, 2020 04:45 PM
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Billy Joel
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Some lucky Long Island, New York, residents got to witness an impromptu street performance by the Piano Man himself.

In a now viral video dated June 26, Billy Joel can be seen stopping to tickle the ivories of a discarded wooden piano left on a sidewalk in the community of Huntington. A rep for Joel, 71, confirms to PEOPLE that it is indeed the superstar in the video.

After playing a ragtime-type tune, which has been identified in the comments section of the YouTube video as Shelton Brooks' "Darktown Strutters' Ball," Joel says, "Not bad."

"The action is good," he continues. "It just needs tuning, and the finish is beat. It's a perfectly good piano. It's a shame to throw it out."

Joel then suggests donating the piano to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which has a thrift store located in Huntington. In response, someone off-camera says there's a thrift store nearby.

"They'd probably take it," Joel says before continuing to examine the piano.

"These are laminated keys, the pedals work, the action is great," he concludes. "The mechanics are perfect."

According to Newsday, Joel — who wears a motorcycle helmet in the video — was on a motorcycle ride when the sight of the piano on the sidewalk stopped him in his tracks.

The fate of the piano is unclear at this time.

Last year, Joel said he that he is in "semi-retirement" in a Billboard cover story, explaining that over time, playing so many shows took a toll on him — and his personal life.

"We used to do five, six gigs a week," he said. "When you're first starting out and you're with your buddies going around the world, you're like a teenage gang. Very exciting. After a couple of years, you’re Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman."

Referencing his relationship with wife Alexis Roderick, the musician remarked that "this is my fourth marriage now."

"It's not good for a relationship to be gone for that long," he added. "So I became a homey."

Earlier this year, Joel's two concerts scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden in N.Y.C. on March 19 and April 10 were postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.