By Fred Schruers
The long-awaited, all-access biography of a song legend
In Billy Joel, acclaimed tune journalist Fred Schruers attracts upon multiple hundred hours of unique interviews with Joel to provide an exceptional examine the existence, occupation, and legacy of the pint-sized child from ny who turned a rock icon.
Exhibiting exceptional intimate wisdom, Schruers chronicles Joel’s upward push to the head of the charts, from his working-class origins in Levittown and early days spent in boxing earrings and sweaty golf equipment to his huge luck within the seventies and eighties. He additionally explores Joel’s artistic transformation within the nineties, his dream functionality with Paul McCartney at Shea Stadium in 2008, and beyond.
Along the best way, Schruers unearths the tales at the back of the entire key occasions and relationships—including Joel’s high-profile marriages and criminal battles—that outlined his route to stardom and encouraged his signature songs, reminiscent of “Piano Man,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “New York country of Mind,” and “She’s continually a Woman.” all through, he captures the spirit of a stressed artist made up our minds to damage via by means of sharing, in his deeply own lyrics, the goals and heartbreaks of suburban American life.
Comprehensive, vibrantly written, and choked with Joel’s stories and reflections—as good as these of the kin, pals, and band contributors who've shaped his internal circle, together with Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel, Jon Small, and Steve Cohen—this is the definitive account of a liked rock star’s epic American trip.
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Additional resources for Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography
I bear in mind one time I went to the flicks with my grandfather and that i used to be 13. The signal stated that youngsters less than ten bought in at a reduced rate. My grandfather walked as much as the price ticket window and casually instructed the cashier that i used to be 9. i used to be rather infuriated, simply because that’s a time on your lifestyles should you are looking to be older. ‘No, I’m not,’ i began to protest, yet through then my grandfather was once clasping his give up my mouth. Years later I got here to appreciate that my mom’s aspect of my relations didn’t have a lot funds, so that’s the way in which they received alongside. ” As his mom and dad grew aside, Billy observed Roz’s helplessness to mend the union: “I recognize my mom used to be very unhappy approximately it. They have been such totally different personalities. She used to be overly communicative, and my father may possibly slightly show his feelings. once they argued, she could yell, and he could simply sit down there in silence. and naturally that will make her even madder. So while a bit child, I knew that those humans weren’t lower out to be jointly. i used to be type of relieved after they acquired divorced, truly. I simply didn’t recognize that I wouldn’t see him for a few years to return. ” Rosalind can have discovered the finality of the holiday, yet nonetheless could come the days round nightfall while the Buicks and Chevy Impalas and Plymouth Valiants arrived domestic from the island’s electronics companies and steel outlets and the Hicksville teach station, six mins’ force north. The dads of their high-waisted slacks could knock the automobile door close with their knee and pass the garden with a hug for the youngsters and a kiss for the wife—what Billy could later name the “Donna Reed” international. Billy may see his mother staring out the kitchen window and ask what she used to be taking a look at. and infrequently, as he instructed Tim White for Billboard 3 a long time later, she may say—consciously or unconsciously dispensing the pain—“Just searching the window. probably your father’s coming domestic. ” requested through White what he obtained from Howard as a father, Billy answered, successfully, naught: “As a dad, it’s too past due. I’m thirty-one. I met him while i used to be twenty-four … it was once too overdue already, i used to be already me. ” although, routinely, he used to be capable of finding a few redemption within the scenario: “I knew loads of little ones while i used to be starting to be up who have been terrified of their fathers, fathers who beat them up, have been bastards, creeps. i used to be cited through women … a great upbringing. The worst my mom did used to be seize hangers off the rack and whip me over the shoulders … which hurts. ” Minus a father, Billy used to be additionally spared the various patriarchal luggage that others knew. Howard Joel had develop into an engineering pupil at his father’s insistence, regardless of his deep love for tune, “because in these days you probably did what your outdated guy instructed you to do. ” In his son’s case, “I most likely might by no means were capable of think about being a certified musician, definitely a rock musician, if my father have been round whilst i used to be growing to be up. He simply wouldn’t have allowed it—too impractical. while my mother stated, ‘Go ahead’; she inspired me. So i used to be fortunate in that method, even if I overlooked having a father, and as I got here of age, i discovered myself attempting to substitute him because the supplier and head of the relations.