Monday, June 24, 2024

Billy Joel Pulls Memoir, Tells Publisher at Last Minute


Billy Joel pulled the plug on his memoir this morning. He told his publisher, Harper Collins, simultaneous to releasing a short statement. The book company is gob-smacked, as they say.  The book was scheduled for a Jule release. It was all but signed off on, completely edited and ready to go. There aren’t too many instances of this sort of thing happening. Years ago Oprah Winfrey did the same thing to Knopf. More recently, movie producer and former hairstylist Jon Peters did the same thing. What it generally means is that the subject of the book has been too candid, and is too young to live with the repercussions of telling the truth about their lives. That last read through of the galleys says it all. In Billy’s case, he’s had a tough few years personally with his daughter, Alexa, his own bad marriage to Katie Lee, accidents and rehab. The last straw may have been Elton John’s odd, unprovoked attack recently, calling Billy out for his drinking. Joel probably didn’t want to hit the interview circuit to defend himself. It’s his decision. What I wish Billy would do is channel all that energy into a new collection of songs. An autobiography can wait a while, like until he’s in his 70s. Billy, stay just the way you are. But give us some music!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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