Most probably you see the phrase “Real Estate Novelist” in the song “Piano Man” released in 1973 by Billy Joel, and confuse the meaning of this expression. Is a Real estate novelist a writer for selling real estate?
Where Does “Real Estate Novelist” Comes from?
Here are part lyrics of the song “Piano Man”, and you’ll find “Real Estate Novelist” in it.
He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me”
As a smile ran away from his face
“Well, I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place”Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talkin’ with Davy, who’s still in the navy
And probably will be for life
Billy Joel Response about “Real Estate Novelist”
People have been asking Billy Joel this question since the song became popular. No one can explain it exactly except Billy Joel himself and he answered it in 2001. You can find his following answer here.
“It’s an invented phrase. When I was working in a piano bar in L.A., around ’72, everybody came and dumped their day on you. Paul was a real-estate broker, and he would say, “I’m working on this book.” But he was there every night, crocked out of his skull, and I would think, “How’s this guy getting any writing done, unless he’s doing the F. Scott Fitzgerald bit: knock out a couple of things when he first gets up, after the coffee buzz, and then start drinkin’. ” Maybe he was like the guy in The Shining, and he just kept writing the same sentence over and over.”
“Real Estate Novelist” Meaning
In the above song lyrics, John (the bartender) told to Paul regrettably: “Well, I’m sure that I could be a movie star If I could get out of this place”. However, you know he didn’t and will not leave.
Paul is like John, always thinking he could write a great novel, while still working in real estate during the day and drinking at night.
“Real Estate Novelist” implies that Paul wishes to be a well-known author rather than sell houses for a living, but he is a regular at the bar so no time to finish his book.
That is said, “Real Estate Novelist” means you should put enough time into your interest to make it successful.
Here is the Song Movie of Piano Man: