Stewartville students start #GetBillyToStewie campaign to bring - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Stewartville students start #GetBillyToStewie campaign to bring Billy Joel to town


Nick Johnson knew he wanted to be a musician ever since he heard two Billy Joel songs on the radio when he was 8-years-old. Those songs were "Piano Man" and "River of Dreams."

"I remember hearing the piano solo in the middle of both of those songs and I turned to my grandpa and said 'I'm going to learn how to play piano,'" said Johnson.

Johnson now shares his love of music with choir students at Stewartville High School. He even shared with them his love for the piano man.

"Best case scenario, Billy Joel walks through that door and I fall to my knees and cry or something like that," said Johnson as he talked about his social media campaign.

Johnson's admiration for Joel inspired choir students to tell him about it through #GetBillyToStewie, a Twitter campaign focused on getting the pop star to perform in their town. While it began as a joke, Stewartville students began to go to extremes and rally behind the cause.

"Mr. Johnson's whole career as a music teacher all started with Billy Joel, so it would be a huge inspiration if we could get him here," said Stewartville senior David Rysted.

Despite the campaign, Johnson acknowledges getting a big shot like Billy Joel to come to Southeast Minnesota may be a long shot. They may be right or they may be crazy for trying, but Johnson said he might as well keep the faith.

"I love Billy Joel's music," said Johnson. "When I said I'm gonna get him to come to Stewartville, there was a lot of 'yeah, right,' but when they tell me I can't do something, I want to."

Whether this river of dreams ultimately results in Billy Joel coming to Stewartville doesn't seem to concern Johnson. While Johnson says he would love to see the singer show up in the classroom, he would also be happy with a simple Tweet or an email from Joel.

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