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It’s taken about a month for this to go viral, but it was worth the wait.

Vanderbilt University student Michael Pollack went to see Billy Joel give a lecture/concert this winter when, during a Q&A session, he made the ballsiest request ever:

Could he accompany his hero on "New York State of Mind"?

Joel, awesomely, obliged … and it was incredible:

Michael Pollack and Billy Joel

You can see why the music legend gave him major props afterward. Pollack later talked about how the moment in January came about. He tells InsideVandy:


"So I decided I was gonna go see Billy Joel right when we found out he was coming, and as a childhood idol of mine, right away I knew what I wanted to do when we went there."

"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."

"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."

"I’ve been playing [the song] for at least eight years. I wondered if I could go up and play it with him. He thought for a little – he took a second – and then he just said okay."

"I had to tune up a little and learn the bridge one more time before the show just in case he called on me. But for the most part, it was by ear."

"I kind of lost myself playing. Then 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.’ He was like, ‘Cool.’ Then I walked off, and that was it."

"It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date."

We imagine many more like it are still to come.