Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast

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 047 - Russell Javors Part 2 (in conversation with Russell Javors)

November 23rd, 2021

Welcome back to our two-part series on Russell Javors. As the rhythm guitarist for Billy Joel, Russell was a fixture in Billy’s band on record and on stage for much of their storied run from 1976’s Turnstiles through 1986’s The Bridge. 


His playing was always understated and in service to the song, but at the same time an integral part of each track. And, he’s a celebrated songwriter in his own right, contributing to artists including Karen Carpenter and Phoebe Snow.


In our last episode, we spoke to Russell’s longtime bandmates Richie Cannata and Liberty DeVitto. We also heard from his son, Jesse Javors. For our conclusion, we’re talking to the man himself, Russell Javors. 


We’ll hear about his teen years coming up with Liberty and Doug Stegemeyer, taking the stage with Billy, moving into a new career after the music business and much more. 


Along the way, Russell reveals insights about his contributions to classic records and memories from the road. And, he adds his trademark wit to every story. 


Join us as we speak with legendary rhythm guitarist Russell Javors.   




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EP 046 - Vinyl Box Set, Return to The Garden, Billy & Metallica in Vegas …and more!

November 9th, 2021

Billy Joel released his first solo album, Cold Spring Harbor, in November 1971. Almost 50 years to the day, his fans are celebrating a string of exciting new announcements. 


In our most timely episode yet, we’ll cover the latest developments in the Billy Joel world. 


On Friday, November 5, Billy brought his record-breaking residency back to Madison Square Garden after a nearly two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.


Also on November 5, Billy released the Vinyl Collection, Vol. 1. It’s a boxed set containing new masters of his first six studio albums, Songs in the Attic, and an unreleased concert from 1975. 


In the lead up to the box set, Billy also released a new animated video for Scenes From An Italian Restaurant. 


And, in an announcement that seemed tailor-made for our co host Michael, we learned that Billy and Metallica will soon play at the same venue on the same weekend in Las Vegas. 


It’s a lot at once, and we’re here to share in the excitement. Join us, as we dig deep, into the latest and greatest Billy Joel news.


Check out our video unboxing of Billy Joel - The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 1 here:




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EP 045 - In Conversation with Mike Delguidice

October 26th, 2021

Billy Joel’s monthly residency at Madison Square Garden resumes on November 5th after nearly a year and a half off due to the pandemic. In the leadup to the show, we sat down with guitarist Mike DelGuidice to talk about what he’s been up to during that time. 



Even with the Garden shows and annual summer tour off the calendar, Mike made the most of the shutdowns. He formed a new band, retooled his solo act, and is now gearing up to release an album of his own music. 



We’ll hear about how Mike used the time off from Billy’s band to re-center his career. And how he returned to the big stage by filling in on a role that has a deep connection to his roots in Billy’s music. 



Join us as we dig deep into 2020 and the first half of 2021 with Mike DelGuidice.





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EP 044 - Russell Javors Part 1 (with special guests)

October 12th, 2021

Probably the last thing you think of when it comes to Billy Joel’s music is reggae but that influence is there. And if it’s subtle, it’s because it comes from arguably the most understated member of the classic Lords of 52nd Street, Russell Javors.


In a band where the spotlight is squarely on the piano, Russell’s rhythm guitar playing was tight, economical, and often in the background.


But it was always in the right place at the right time. To paraphrase drummer Liberty DeVitto, “You don’t always notice what Russell is playing, but you’ll notice when it’s not there.”


Russell played on many of Billy’s biggest hits and logged hundreds of shows over more than a decade touring with the band. Before that, he was part of Topper, the group that would become the longtime backing band for Billy.


And, he was always writing his own songs in the background. A few of which were released by different artists. His music, both with Billy and on his own, has shades of classic 70s singer/songwriters while also portraying his love of The Beatles, rockabilly, and reggae among other influences.


After departing the Billy Joel band before the Storm Front album, Russell made a radical, while ultimately fulfilling career change. And today, he’s back on tour with the Lords of 52nd Street. Celebrating the music he and his friends help make into modern classics.


For this episode, we spoke with Liberty DeVitto, Richie Cannata, and Russell’s son, Jesse Javors.


Join us for Part 1 of a very special two-part series on Russell Javors where we talk with some of the people who know him best.




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EP 043 - Concert Classics: Thunder Road - Live in Miami, 1977

September 28th, 2021

The fact that a Billy Joel bootleg is named after a Bruce Springsteen song should clue in the listener that this show’s a little different from what you may expect. 


Recorded at Maurice Gusman Concert Hall in Miami, FL on October 31, 1977,  Thunder Road isn’t a radical change from the Billy we know. But, there’s a big focus on a part of live act that never quite made it onto official records.


It’s his skill at impersonating other musicians -- both their playing and their personalities -- that shine at this show. 


This recording also captures a curious moment in Billy’s career. It’s at the beginning of the Stranger tour, just before the record broke wide open and made Billy a household name.


The show is more streamlined than recordings from a few years prior, but not quite as realized as his performances would be in just a few more months. It also features a temporary lineup with a short-lived guitar player. 


Join us as we dive deep into a show from Billy Joel on the eve of superstardom.



Date: October 31, 1977
City/State: Miami, FL
Venue: Maurice Gusman Concert Hall

The band:

  • Billy Joel - Vocals, Piano, Keyboards
  • Liberty DeVitto - Drums
  • Doug Stegmeyer - Bass, Vocals
  • Richie Cannata - Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards, Accordion, Vocals
  • Frank Vento - Guitar


The Setlist: 

  1. The Stranger
  2. Somewhere Along The Line
  3. Summer, Highland Falls
  4. Piano Man
  5. Thunder Road
  6. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
  7. Travelin' Prayer
  8. Let 'Em In
  9. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
  10. Still Crazy After All These Years
  11. Just The Way You Are
  12. Prelude / Angry Young Man
  13. New York State Of Mind
  14. The Entertainer
  15. Vienna
  16. Root Beer Rag
  17. You Are So Beautiful
  18. She's Always A Woman
  19. I've Loved These Days
  20. Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway
  21. The Ballad Of Billy The Kid
  22. Captain Jack
  23. Say Goodbye To Hollywood
  24. Only The Good Die Young
  25. Get It Right The First Time
  26. Weekend Song





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EP 042 - Album Retrospective: The Bridge

September 14th, 2021

Almost a decade after the breakout hit album The Stranger, the Billy Joel machine was showing some signs of wear. That strain was evident on his 1986 album The Bridge


After a string of multi-platinum, chart-topping, and award-winning records, Billy was worn out and wanted to be home with his family instead of back in the studio. 


Meanwhile, relationships were strained between his long-time band mem bers after years and years in and out of tour busses and recording studios. 


All this was weighing on Billy and the band as they headed back into the studio to record their followup to An Innocent Man. That album felt light and breezy, and was stacked with bright and bouncy pop hits. By contrast, The Bridge would sound more labored and strained, and would explore more turbulent themes. 


But, even one of Billy’s least-regarded albums still contains flashes of brilliance that are worth seeking out. On one hand, the record sounds dated and locked in the 80s. But on the other, it’s like a time capsule to the pop music of that decade. 


The album is also dotted with guests that personify the era in which it was recorded while also tracing the roots of Joel’s career and musical influences. 


Join us as we dive deep in Billy Joel’s 1986 album The Bridge






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EP 041 - In Conversation with Richie Cannata

August 31st, 2021

Here’s an interview with Richie Cannata. That’s it. No great fanfare, no big intro. We just had a blast talking with Billy Joel’s longtime sax, organ, flute, accordion, and piano player, and we’re sharing that conversation with you. 


There’s a lot of great stuff here: Deep trivia about Billy Joel tracks and live performances, stories about the Lords of 52nd Street reunion and post-pandemic shows, and Richie’s takes on today’s music and recording practices. 


Sit back and join us as we chat with Richie Cannata.






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EP 040 - Year In Review: 1980

August 17th, 2021

The Stranger made Billy Joel a superstar back in 1977. Three years later, his career really launched into overdrive.



In 1980, Billy was still reaping the benefits of two Grammy-Award winning albums. In March, he took his next step forward by releasing Glass Houses. That album would become a smash hit with a leaner sound that would propel him into the 80s.



And during the Glass Houses tour, Billy and the band would begin recording live versions of songs from Billy’s back catalog. These tracks would go on to comprise 1981’s Songs In The Attic.



All this activity made the beginning of the new decade a time where the past, present, and future of Billy’s career all happened at once.


Join us as we dig deep into Billy Joel in 1980.




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EP 039 - Video Retrospective: Eye of The Storm + More

August 3rd, 2021

In the mid 80s, Billy Joel penned the lyric “After 1986 what else could be new?” If you were to judge that based on his 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” you’d think he meant it.



But a closer look at that video and the others from the Storm Front album suggest otherwise.



For this episode we’re looking at Eye Of The Storm. Released in 1990, it’s a home video collection of the videos from the multi-platinum album Storm Front.



While that album contained many songs about personal relationships and Billy’s life, the videos focus much more on the world at large at the end of the 1980s.



We’ll dig deep into the five music videos. And, we’ll take a look at a soundcheck and radio broadcast recording from early in the Storm Front tour. 



Join us as we dig deep into Eye of The Storm and more.






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EP 038 - Glass Houses Playlist #3

July 20th, 2021

We're back with another playlist episode this week. We have so much fun putting these together and sharing some of our favorite music with you all.


Michael is back with more of his favorites over the past several years. From 90s alternative to 2010s soul and singer/songwriters, these have been mainstays for Michael and we are excited to share them with you!


Again, if you dig what you hear, we'd appreciate you checking out and picking up some new music by these artists wherever you get your music!





  • ATHENAEUM – “Flat Tire”
  • PAPA VEGAS – “No Destination”
  • THE VERVE PIPE – “Out Like A Lamb”
  • EMERSON HART – “I Wish The Best For You”
  • OUR LADY PEACE – “Somewhere Out There”
  • BLISS 66 – “Not Quite Paradise”
  • 19 WHEELS – “I Want You Here”
  • TYRONE WELLS – “In Between The Lines”
  • THE NIGHT GAME – “The Outfield”
  • OWSLEY – “She’s The One”
  • NINE DAYS – “Still Here”
  • KACEY MUSGRAVES – “Space Cowboy”
  • SPLENDER – “The Loneliest Person I Know”
  • GRAHAM COLTON – “On Your Side”
  • SEBASTIAN KOLE – “Love’s On The Way”




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