Synopsis: The long-awaited, all-access biography of a music legend
In Billy Joel, acclaimed music journalist Fred Schruers draws upon more than one hundred hours of exclusive interviews with Joel to present an unprecedented look at the life, career, and legacy of the pint-sized kid from Long Island who became a rock icon.
Exhibiting unparalleled intimate knowledge, Schruers chronicles Joel’s rise to the top of the charts, from his working-class origins in Levittown and early days spent in boxing rings and sweaty clubs to his monumental success in the seventies and eighties. He also explores Joel’s creative transformation in the nineties, his dream performance with Paul McCartney at Shea Stadium in 2008, and beyond.
Along the way, Schruers reveals the stories behind all the key events and relationships—including Joel’s high-profile marriages and legal battles—that defined his path to stardom and inspired his signature songs, such as “Piano Man,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “New York State of Mind,” and “She’s Always a Woman.” Throughout, he captures the spirit of a restless artist determined to break through by sharing, in his deeply personal lyrics, the dreams and heartbreaks of suburban American life.
Comprehensive, vibrantly written, and filled with Joel’s memories and reflections—as well as those of the family, friends, and band members who have formed his inner circle, including Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel, Jon Small, and Steve Cohen—this is the definitive account of a beloved rock star’s epic American journey.
If you’re like me, you love Billy Joel. I had the distinct honour and pleasure of getting to see the Piano Man in January when he stopped by Tampa on his tour. I was absolutely over the moon. He puts an amazing show on and I would basically kill (not kill–you guys know what I mean) to see him again. His voice was as rich as ever, his stories and humour filling in the breaks between his songs. He is the ultimate showman and I can’t wait until I’m able to see him again.
I think my favorite moment was when he was about to play New York State of Mind and he dedicated it to Ted Cruz since he bashed “New York Values”. Let me tell you, the screams were overwhelming when he said, “Here Ted, lemme tell you about MY values.”
That being said, this book is full of those gems, stories and factoids that were revealed from the Piano Man himself to the author, who was a very capable writer. It is a mix of the writer and Billy’s voices and together, it is an intriguing mix. It’s not a book that holds anything back either, you get an excellent sense of who Billy is. He never shies away from his Long Island roots and his music is infused with his love for New York. I think if you enjoy Billy’s music, that this biography will be for you.
Here’s one of my favourite songs–this is not my video, my phone died! D: :