The other day one of my best friends happened to post this wonderful 1988 clip from Sesame Street on Facebook featuring the talented Billy Joel and Marlee Matlin arriving at Sesame Street with a special gift for Oscar the Grouch (Caroll Spinney).
But there is a catch. You see Joel and Matlin happen to be “Grouch Groupies” and when Billy finds himself with a worn out piano the two give it as a gift to a grouch and in this case it’s Oscar’s turn! Matlin and Joel also sing…a Grouch version…of Joel’s 1977 hit “Just the Way You Are”!
[Via] Sesame Street
I’m pretty sure that will put a big smile on your face this morning!
The You’re Only Human Music Video was the first Billy Joel video that I can remember seeing in my youth, it was also when I realized I was a fan of his music. It was a memorable song and the video was great, but since it was 1985, I, of course, did not recognize a future TV star in it.
You’re Only Human was written by Joel expressly for the purpose of teenage suicide prevention. He once attempted suicide himself and after writing the original draft felt it was too much of a downer. So he changed the song entirely to point out the good things that happen. Koping teenagers might learn personal forgiveness and optimism.
Billy Joel donated all the royalties to this song to the National Committee for Youth Suicide Prevention.
Watch the You’re Only Human Music Video
So remember what I mentioned above about a future TV star? This is a real fun bit of trivia for you. The drowning friend of the young man Billy Joel is trying to stop from committing suicide? That is none other than Adam Savage from Mythbusters! As you can see, Adam always had the charisma and gravitas that would eventually make him famous. He was just working in the wrong genre back in 1985.
Hi, my name is Brian Boone. I’m a regular contributor on this site, writing primarily about forgotten junk food and obscure fads of the 1980s. All of us contributors love talking up retro stuff here, but we each also have our own thing. For example, Tupa’s a cartoonist, Peachy composes electronic music. As for me, I’m a rock nerd.
It just so happens I’ve written and just released a book of trivia and little-known stories behind classic rock and pop songs, albums, and artists. It’s called I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (Except When I Hate It): Extremely Important Stuff About the Songs and Bands You Love, Hate, Love to Hate and Hate to Love.
This is not a typical, staid pop culture trivia book. As I’m a passionate music fan, I both celebrate the moments of genius and masterpiece creation while reveling in the glorious failure of bad ideas. It’s all about the highs and lows of pop and rock, from the ‘60s through to now, so music geeks and retro enthusiasts have much to savor, such as:
• The time Disney tried to reinvent Devo as a kids band
• How bands got their names
• Working titles of classic albums
• How all bands relate to the Pixies
• The early, pre-fame missteps of Lenny Kravitz and Billy Joel; and the post-fame missteps of Garth Brooks and Peter Frampton
• The story behind the worst song of all time (it involves rap and a Beach Boy)
It’s available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, or anywhere books are sold. I hope you enjoy it.