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Billy Joel Welcomes John Mellencamp, Young Rascals Mini-Reunion at Madison Square Garden

Jason Davis/  Nicholas Hunt / Terry Wyatt
Jason Davis/ Nicholas Hunt / Terry Wyatt

Throughout his long-running residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel has often brought out special guest stars. At last night’s show, he had some help from John Mellencamp and helped stage a mini-reunion of two members of the Young Rascals, Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish.

After six songs, Joel, who has often cited the Young Rascals as a major influence, brought out Cavaliere and Cornish by saying that they were the best band he ever in his life, so much so that he almost gave up music rather than try to compete. They proceeded to play their biggest hit, “Good Lovin’,” with Cavaliere reprising his famous Hammond B-3 organ break.

Towards the end of the main set, Mellencamp joined him for “Authority Song.” The person who took the video is not allowing it to be embedded, but you can view it here. During the breakdown in the middle of the song, they threw in a bit of Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000 Dances,” complete with call-and-response with the audience, for good measure.

Setlist.fm reports Joel’s show had a few other notable occurrences. At one point he had the audience vote on whether they wanted to hear “The Downeaster Alexa” or “Keeping the Faith,” for which they chose the former. And “She’s Always a Woman” featured a flute performance by the 18-year-old daughter of a member of the crew.

Up next is a tour that branches out from these monthly Madison Square Garden gigs. Billy Joel tickets are on sale now for dates in baseball stadiums in select cities. He’ll begin by performing the first concert in the new SunTrust park just outside Atlanta on April 28, and will make stops in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. Mellencamp is set to release Sad Clowns & Hillbillies on April 21.

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Next: Top 10 John Mellencamp Songs

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