Billy Joel made a fan's dream come true at Vanderbilt University when he allowed Michael Pollack to accompany him on stage to accompany him during for a performance of Joel's "New York State of Mind".
Joel was taking questions from the audience when Pollack stood up and said, "My favorite song of yours is 'New York State of Mind'. I have been very fortunate in that I had the chance to play with Richie Cannata and I was wondering if I could play with you." Cannata was Joel's saxophone player during the 70's until he left the band in 1981.
Joel responded to the student by saying, "Sure, but I would accompany you."
The rest was music magic.
"That's Michael Pollack, remember that name," said Joel when they finished. "Nice going, Michael! Guy's got chops. ... Good luck to you, Michael. I think you're gonna do fine."
Afterwards Pollack said, "I walked up, we spoke about the arrangement for about 15 seconds — he just went through what he wanted me to play — and then from there, it was just … foggy. It's hard to remember. I just started playing. I had practiced it a little bit thinking maybe I'd get the chance to go up … 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."