Billy Joel : The Definitive Biography: A Review

billyjoel Celebrities seem to be another species altogether, don’t they? We tend to forget they are real human beings too, earning a living in a more public manner. Of course, celebrities are more privileged, as they have more access to people and places than we do. For author Fred Schruers, he wants to see the real Billy Joel, the man behind the singer/songwriter/musician.
Mr. Schruers gives some background about Billy. His parents immigrated to the United States to escape the Nazis. They were targeted by the regime because they were Jewish. Most of his childhood was spent with his mom, Roz and a cousin who became like a sister to him. Billy faced bigotry growing up but managed to rise above and not let that ruin his opinion of others.
Best part of the biography is that most of the songs Mr. Joel has sung over the years tell a story about him. I’ve always believed that artists reveal a little about themselves through their work. Some of the songs were about early relationships with his three wives; others reflected the events of the day. “Goodnight Saigon” is a great example of the singer’s gratitude towards our veterans and how they should be honored for their sacrifice. “Allentown” made us aware that jobs were being taken away from those who worked in the factories and the effect on the communities due to the tragic of loss of employment.
Billy Joel rises above all the hardship he faces over the years, both personal and professionally. He’s a forgiving soul. A former manager bilked him of millions of dollars but some years later, Billy sees him and asks how he’s doing. Not many of us would go that far. Billy states he will quit performing when it becomes a burden to him. For our sakes, I hope that never happens. May the piano keep belting out the music from your heart, Mr. Joel. You are timeless and talented.
I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review, from Blogging for Books.
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