Billy Joel's longtime saxophonist Mark Rivera can't say enough about his boss of nearly 40 years, and how he's treated his band while they've been sidelined during the pandemic. Rivera is the latest sideman profiled in Rolling Stone's “Unknown Legends” series.
Over the years, Rivera has been mainstay on the rock scene for his road and session work with such heavyweights as Foreigner, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates — not to mention being Ringo Starr's All Starr Band musical director for the past 25 years.
Rivera, who along with his wife, battled the coronavirus earlier this year, spoke about the Billy Joel's love and concern for his band during covid, explaining, “I can’t say enough about what Billy has done for this entire … some people call it a community, but it’s a village we have that he’s created. He’s been so incredibly gracious and generous. I don’t have adjectives to describe. . . To be completely serious: a heartfelt thanks to him for taking care of this group of people. Everyone I speak to on the crew and the band feels the same way. I know other situations where guys have played with certain bands for years and they made three-year commitments and the rug has been pulled out from under them. I applaud our 'Piano Man' and God bless him.”