Billy Joel is at least partially responsible for Warren Zevon's first-ever Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, which was revealed earlier this week.
The singer-songwriter Warren has been eligible for induction under Rock Hall rules since at least 1994. But since he passed away in 2003, Warren hasn't had much luck getting recognition. Joel sought to change that.
The Piano Man explained in a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times why he feels so strongly about Warren's Hall of Fame case.
"If anyone deserves to be [in the Hall of Fame], he does," Joel told the Times. "He was a real original, and I don't know if that's appreciated enough."
Joel went on to describe Warren as like a "crazy brother I never had. He was fearless, and it stuck with me."
He argued that Warren "never got the attention he deserves ... He was a piano player, and we all tend to get lumped into this thing of 'They're not real rock guys' — which I don't think is fair, but I understand why it happens. Piano is perceived to be this middle-of-the-road instrument only played by dorks. But when I saw Warren, he was kind of breaking the piano to pieces, little by little, which I thought was an interesting style."
In a statement responding to Warren's recognition, his family specifically thanked Joel and David Letterman for championing his nomination "among so many other deserving nominees and inductees."
Zevon is among 14 Rock Hall nominees this year, including seven other first-time nominees.
Joel, who was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1999, confirmed that he had also written letters to the Rock Hall to express his support for artists like Joe Cocker and Cyndi Lauper. Lauper is also among the 2023 nominees.