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Mike DelGuidice of Big Shot spotlighted by Madison Square Garden (Includes interview)

DelGuidice revealed that his early musical influences were his “neighbors,” whom he would watch jam all the time, which inspired him to audition for the sixth grade talent show, and judging from that audience reaction, he was inspired to pursue music for a living. He started off singing gospel music and then branched into piano bars for 12 to 13 years, where he would sing songs by such iconic artists as Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John.

At the time, the Long Island musician began his Billy Joel tribute band, Big Shot, as a necessity. They would performed regularly all over Long Island, where the crowd was familiar with the music of Billy Joel. Back then, he acknowledged that tribute bands were not as popular, and he decided to give it a shot. Once it got serious, DelGuidice knew that he could make a living out of doing this.

Then, Billy Joel’s European tour came about, and Billy and his band needed somebody to do rehearsals with the band, which was a natural fit for DelGuidice. “I got asked to do this rehearsal and it was a whirlwind,” he admitted, once he came face to face with his biggest idol, the “Piano Man” himself.

DelGuidice was stoked when Joel asked him to be a part of his band. “It was the first time ever, musically, where I really felt like I achieved something,” he said, effusively, prior to opening up about the struggle he endured to be where he is today, coming from humble beginnings.

The Miller Place native described Billy Joel’s run at Madison Square Garden as “epic.” “This is history. This is Madison Square Garden,” he concluded. “It was surreal. That was to me, ‘Making It!'”

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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