Piano Man piano tab by Billy Joel
In 1972 Joel worked for six months at a piano bar in Los Angeles called the Executive Room. His first album did not do well and he took the job to pay rent. He played under the name Bill Martin. The characters he describes in the song are based on real people he encountered. He was shocked and embarrassed when the song became a hit because he thought the melody was not very good and repetitious. He said the harmonica part was inspired by Bob Dylan.