Oct 4, 2022 • 41M

Pilot Episode of The Humble Skeptic Podcast

Episode 1 • Truth Isn't Afraid of Questions

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Appears in this episode

Shane Rosenthal
Shane Rosenthal was raised in a Jewish home but became an atheist at a very early age. Some years later, however, he ended up losing faith in atheism and converted to Christianity. On this podcast he talks with people from a wide variety of worldviews and perspectives in order explore the beliefs and ideas that shape our lives.
Episode details

Not long ago, my dad mentioned in passing that sometime in the early 70s he stopped in for a drink at a cocktail lounge in Los Angeles, and Billy Joel was playing at the piano bar. Later it dawned on me that Billy Joel wrote his famous song “Piano Man” about his experience as a lounge singer, so I began to wonder whether my dad may have met some of the characters that Joel described in his famous song, such as John the bartender, Paul the real estate novelist, or Davy who was still in the Navy. Then I began to wonder whether my dad may have actually been one of the characters described in that song. Perhaps he was one of “the businessmen who slowly [got] stoned,” or maybe he was the guy who frequently discussed politics with the waitress. Well, as it turns out, these questions led me on a fascinating investigative journey with numerous twists and turns which I decided to tell on the pilot episode of The Humble Skeptic podcast.

• Here’s a link to Billy Joel’s Hollywood Bowl performance of “Piano Man” which includes a reference to the specific location of the piano bar Joel worked at.

• Here’s the Library of Congress interview (conducted in 2017) in which Billy Joel says he says, “The name of that bar was The Executive Room. It was in the Wilshire District in Los Angeles. It’s no longer there. I think it’s a bank or an insurance building now.” In short, Billy Joel is describing the location of this office building.

• The image below is of The Executive Room cocktail lounge as it appeared in the late 70s. Most sources online suggest that this is where Billy Joel worked when he wrote piano man, but after doing a little digging into this subject, I became “skeptical” of this location for various reasons that I outline on this episode.

If you liked the pilot episode, there are many more programs to enjoy. Click here to begin episode 2: “Is Faith Irrational?”

• For more information about The Humble Skeptic vision, along with how you can help, click here.

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