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Billy Joel Encounter With College Freshman – Piano Man Says 'Cool' [VIDEO]

By Staff Writer | March 14, 2013 03:51 PM EDT

A Billy Joel encounter was a truly memorable experience for Vanderbilt University student Michael Pollack. That is because Pollack had the rare opportunity to play alongside the legendary musician.

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In the YouTube video of the encounter, Joel calls on the student during a question and answer session. Pollack then asks if he could play a song with the Piano Man, who, to the student's surprise, agrees.

Billy Joel is known for his inaccessibility to fans, rarely giving autographs or posing for pictures, so his replay of "Okay" was particularly shocking.

Pollack was especially excited about his Billy Joel encounter, as the singer-songwriter is one of his musical idols.

The two did a spectacular rendition of the song "New York State of Mind" in which Joel sang and Pollack accompanied him on the piano.

After the performance Pollack spoke with the famed singer, and he told the Inside Vandy, Vanderbilt University's student newspaper, about the exchange.

"Afterward he said to me ... he said that I was great, where are you from ... and I said, 'I'm a Long Islander just like you.,' " Pollack said of his Billy Joel encounter. "He was like, 'Cool.' Then I walked off, and that was it ... It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date."

The student said he and a friend had carefully planned for the event.

"My roommate and I decided that we would try and find a way to get a question to be asked, and see if we could get on stage," Pollack reported to the Vanderbilt student website. "And the day came, I put together a question, and I was raising my hand, and my friends to the right of me kept pointing to me, and finally after a few questions he picked on me and I hesitantly said how 'New York State of Mind' was my favorite song, and how I had performed it with his saxophonist Richie Cannata in the past and wondered if I could go up and play it with him."

While Pollack says at first he was nervous, after doing a little bit of arranging with Joel, he ended up nailing the performance and securing his moment in the YouTube limelight.

You can watch the video below.


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