This is the first single from American glam metal band Ratt's seventh album, Infestation, the band's first original effort since their self-titled disc in 1999. It also marked the Ratt studio debut for former Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo who replaced John Corabi as rhythm guitarist in August 2008.
Even though the song sounds like the material Ratt released in their mid 1980s heyday, it was Cavazo who bought it to the band. He told Gibson.com: "I brought the music in and Stephen [Pearcy] wrote the lyrics. And I don't know how that happened. Just a riff I came up with, and I just got lucky. But, yeah, I guess it does sound like an old Ratt song."
Cavazo told Gibson.com how the band recorded the material for Infestation: "Everybody brought in a few songs each, like three of four songs, and we picked the best songs to make a great album. Actually, when we recorded the record, we did it in Virginia at the producer's studio. He had a vacation home made into a studio on the beach. And we're talking in the middle of nowhere. And that's the first time we had all done any kind of recording outside of our hometown. The first record we did it like that. And it was kind of interesting because we were able to kind of get away from all the pressures of everyday life, hanging around the house, and we were able to concentrate solely on the recordings and the writing of the record. So I think it was a plus for us to do it that way."
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.