Billy Joel’s had an up and down year, for sure: a hit concert tour with Elton John, but a much publicized divorce from his wife of four years, Katie Lee.
But now Billy’s ready to tell all, or at least some of it. He’s got a $3 million deal for an autobiography with HarperCollins. Veteran film and music writer Fred Schruers is working on it with him.
Billy has a great story to tell if he can put it all on paper. First, there’s all that colorful character stuff about growing up on Long Island and becoming a “piano man.”
But then: The marriage to first wife Elizabeth, for whom he wrote “Just the Way You Are.” Her brother, Frank, ripped Billy off for millions. Then Billy also went after famed music attorney Allen Grubman.
Following that episode, there’s the marriage to Christie Brinkley, their daughter, Alexa, and that part of his life. Following his divorce, Billy also has some colorful recollections about driving around the Hamptons.
But more importantly, and past the gossip: just hearing Billy Joel talk about his music, other people’s songs and music in general should be fascinating. He’s great at giving master classes, and those who heard him explain Jimmy Webb’s ” Wichita Lineman” at a Songwriters Hall of Fame dinner a few years ago know how good he is at that stuff.
The big question is: Will he call the book “Piano Man”? The heavy betting is on that title. I’d go for “Just the Way I Am.”