Billy Joel

Billy Joel is perhaps the most famous pianist on planet earth, and “Piano Man,” his signature song, has probably done more to romanticize the tickling of ivories than any other piece of music. But Joel would prefer that we stop tickling ivories and started tickling some other substance. Joel has thrown his weight behind a proposed New York state law against the sale of ivory, taking the exceedingly sane position that we don’t need to be killing endangered species just to make piano keys. Here’s his statement on the matter:

To whom it may concern:
I wholeheartedly support the ivory sales ban bill pending in New York State.
I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists.
But a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day.
There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys.
But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.
Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species.
Music should be a celebration of life – not an instrument of death.
Billy Joel

(via Joel’s website)

He’s also included this link on the bill against ivory trade.

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Comments (7)
  1. Agreed, but Elephants For Pianos is a great band name regardless.

  2. As a piano technician, Billy can rest assured that very few, if any, piano makers use ivory as keytops anymore. Also, just FYI, piano keys are mostly made out of wood, then covered in a thin veneer of plastic.

    *tips hat*

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