August 25, 1995 – Douglas Alan ‘Doug’ Stegmeyer was born on December 23rd 1951 in Flushing Queens, New York.
Doug along with high school friend Russell Javors, Liberty DeVitto and Howard Emerson, formed the band Topper, performing songs that Russell wrote. The band soon became noticed by Billy Joel, and when Joel found he needed a bassist on his Streetlife Serenade tour, he asked Doug.
From then on Doug played bass and backing vocals on every one of Joel’s studio albums from Turnstiles through The Bridge and the live albums Songs in the Attic and Kohuept. Stegmeyer was the first musician that Billy took from Topper; at Stegmeyer’s recommendation a year and a half later, Emerson, Javors, and DeVitto joined Joel in the studio for his Turnstiles album and for the accompanying tour. Stegmeyer became a core member of Billy Joel’s band, playing bass on all of Joel’s studio albums from Turnstiles through The Bridge and the live albums Songs in the Attic and КОНЦЕРТ. Throughout his tenure with Joel, Stegmeyer was dubbed “The Sergeant at Arms Of The Billy Joel Band.” After leaving Joel’s band in 1989 (along with Javors), Stegmeyer maintained a busy schedule recording and producing.
Doug also performed as bassist for Debbie Gibson and Hall & Oates.
On August 25, 1995, Stegmeyer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Smithtown, New York home/studio.
In 2014, Stegmeyer was inducted, posthumously, into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame, along with his Topper and Joel bandmates Cannata, DeVitto, and Javors. The four were inducted primarily for their work with Joel.
“He was a very talented player. He was with me from the 1970s through 1988 and was the leader of the nucleus of the group that was the band. We called him the Sergeant-at-Arms. He was so committed to what he was doing.”