(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
When I saw Garth Brooks in Las Vegas a little over a year ago, he told this great story about signing up for one of those record clubs and being inundated with albums. “You guys ever get talked into doing the old thing where you buy one CD, get 5,000 free? Except instead of ’No thanks,’ you gotta send them back if you don’t want them. I was gone on the road for about three years, and I come back, and sure enough there were like 1,000 CDs. One of them was Billy Joel’s Storm Front. I hadn’t bought a Billy Joel record in probably about 10 years at this point. This one had all these great songs. One of them was a song called ’Shameless.’ When I heard ’Shameless,’ man, I was blown away. I kept watching to see if they were gonna release it as a single. And they never did. So I called them up and said, ’Can I do this?’ And they were like, ’Yeah, knock yourself out.'” Brooks made that song his own, and it topped the country chart in 1991. I tell you all this to let you know that Brooks makes a special appearance on that song, and on Joel’s “Piano Man,” on Joel’s new CD/DVD set, Live at Shea Stadium . It’s a recording of his two shows at the ballpark in 2008, in front of some 100,000 fans, during what was billed as the Last Play at Shea. Live at Shea Stadium also features guest appearances by Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, John Mayer, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltrey.