Billy Joel’s Drummer Shakes Down BJ for Royalty Cash
Did you know that the drummer for [lastfm]Billy Joel[/lastfm] was suing the Piano Man for 30 years worth of unpaid royalties? It’s a shame it had to come to this, but you’d think by year 15 drummer [lastfm]Liberty DeVitto[/lastfm] would have figured out some plan that might have kept him and Billy boy out of court.
[pullquote quote="Everybody always assumes that you make a lot of money because you worked with Billy Joel. It didn't happen that way." credit="Liberty Devitto"]
On April 21, 2010 the two parties settled the lawsuit without brewing up too much bad blood. Liberty DeVitto sought royalty payments from numerous [lastfm]Billy Joel[/lastfm] recordings dating from 1975 to 1990. Spanning almost a year, and originally filed at the Manhattan Supreme Court in May 2009, the lawsuit also listed Sony Music Entertainment Inc. as a defendant.
The 59-year old Liberty is quoted in the New York Post as saying, “Everybody always assumes that you make a lot of money because you worked with Billy Joel. It didn’t happen that way.” In another interview, DeVitto claims that “If Billy sang ‘Only the Good Die Young’ like he wanted to, it would have been a reggae song.” What would Uptown Girl have been without DeVitto’s sage guidance? A ska song?
Here is Liberty DeVitto in loftier times, going crazy on the drums: