Billy Joel had a problem. He’d released his first two records, but something wasn’t right. He wanted the music to jump right off the record. The session musicians in LA were fine, but Joel needed an East Coast edge.
When he found Liberty DeVitto he found much more than a drummer. He’d found the heartbeat, the driving force behind the new sound that would propel Joel on his way to becoming the sixth best-selling recording artist in U.S. history. Many credit DeVitto for being the very soul of the band. What was his role?
“If Billy sang ‘Only the Good Die Young’ like he wanted to, it would have been a reggae song,” DeVitto said.
He says he was a creative force on Joel’s biggest hits and his only drummer from 1975 to 2005. When Joel finally decided to make a change there were hard feeling. DeVitto says he never even got a phone call. He also says he never got royalties due him and a potentially ugly legal matter was finally amicably settled out of court.
But DeVitto found himself cast adrift. It wasn’t long before he found he had become one of the most sought-after session players in New York.
These days, the man behind the “Piano Man” is a family man. His daughter Torrey is a familiar face to TV viewers.
You’ll hear Liberty address all these topics, and you’ll find out why at the age of 60, he’s enjoying life perhaps more than ever, and is considered one of the most positive, inspiring and motivating musicians around!
if you miss that recognizable drum sound, you’ll want to check out Liberty’s new band, The Slim Kings, available on iTunes:
Or CD Baby: