- Audio CD
- Verlag: Random House Audio; Auflage: Unabridged (28. Oktober 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0804194041
- ISBN-13: 978-0804194044
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2,8 x 15,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
Billy Joel (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, Ungekürzte Ausgabe
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"If you call yourself a Joel fan, you'll be reading this." –Newsday
"[T]he rollicking story of a Hicksville boy made good." –Maura Johnston, Newsday
"Schruers clearly realizes he has gold in his interviews with Joel, his friends, paramours and confidants... [He delivers] insights on individual songs that will surprise even the most studied Joel fan.... [and] has given us the most complete look at Joel’s life and career to date." –Dallas Morning News
[Billy Joel] not only lives up to its subtitle, but has the strengths of both an autobiography and biography.... [It] will likely end up as the most complete tome on the Bard of Long Island, with the most access to its subject." –Houston Press
"[A] funny, revealing, and poignant look at [Joel's] long career." –Boston Globe
"Schruers' account of Joel's 1970s rise is fantastic, rich in anecdotes about the origins of different songs." –Billboard
"[A] funny and revealing account of one of the most popular songwriters of our time.” –New York Daily News
"Schruers uses interviews to great effect, allowing to emerge the everyman persona that resonates with Joel's fans...a fair, thorough assessment of Joel's celebrity." –Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
FRED SCHRUERS enjoyed a successful high-profile career as a writer at Rolling Stone, chronicling an impressive body of musicians and actors, including Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Jack Nicholson, Sheryl Crow, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Chris Rock. His writing has also appeared in Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Men’s Journal, GQ, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism Review.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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The book begins with Billy Joel’s family history, his childhood and difficult relationship with his father. We move on to his early love of music and fledgling bands, such as The Hassles and Attila. We follow his story from a stuttering start to his career (although personally I love those first albums) to the massive success of The Stranger. There are management issues (some of them extremely serious ones), record label worries and personal issues. Billy Joel is totally open in this book; discussing his marriages to first wife Elizabeth, Christie Brinkley and Katie Lee, his problems with alcohol, his perceived ‘fallings out’ with Elton John and former drummer Liberty De Vitto. Along with the difficulties, there are also positive things. His deep love for daughter Alexa, his regard for his loyal fans, the high spots of his career, such as the Last Night at Shea with Paul McCartney and being honoured by his peers.
This is an honest and open account of Billy Joel’s life, but you do still get the sense that he really doesn’t understand – even now – how superb he truly is as a singer and a songwriter. I would love him to write some new material and have the confidence and the passion to make new albums. He has so much to offer, not just as a live act, but as a musician and, although I know there have been the odd new song along the way, he openly admits that he has lost the will to record. Still, every album he has made are familiar, old friends, constantly replayed and his music – like the man – has stood the test of time. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
The author… in collaboration with Billy takes you on a detailed trip through Billy’s life… that starts off in a place that I wasn’t expecting to see… nor did I even have an idea that it existed. I am the same age as Billy… born in the same area… and like Joel… am part of the first Jewish post-Holocaust generation. I was caught off guard when the story started with a history of Joel’s family before… during… and after… the despicable Nazi stain on history. Both our families lost members in the death camps… and we both had family that escaped from Europe. Billy’s Dad went from Europe… to Switzerland… to Cuba… to America. His Grandfather had a multi-million dollar business taken from him under the Nazi law of “Jews can’t own a business”.
The reader is literally taken by the hand and shown what shaped Joel… everything from dropping out of high school… piano lessons… and amateur boxing. How’s that for a combo for a teenager… piano lessons and boxing! Throughout this well written biography… you see how Billy’s love of reading… educated him far more than staying in school… with a particular love of history. His many travails with women… are deftly tied to his lyrics… that are interspersed throughout the book… in expert fashion. If you are a Billy Joel fan… you will no longer have to wonder or imagine… what’s truly behind his lyrics. By the one-third mark of the book I had to fight myself to keep from running to my stereo and re-listen to all the songs that I “thought” I knew the complete meaning of. I promised myself that that growing pleasure would be a reward for finishing the book. (Another enjoyable personal epiphany was when Joel moved to Los Angeles… as I also did… the actual bar that Billy worked at … at Wilshire and Western… that was the true birth place of the all-time classic “PIANO MAN” was right down the street from where I worked!)
It is obvious throughout that Billy never wants to distance himself from who he really is… and even more importantly… never lose a firm grasp… on where he came from. I think it’s best summed up by Billy’s comments regarding the “Nylon Curtain” album: “The Nylon Curtain was a concept album,” says Billy. “Even in the love songs, there are troubles, pressure, surprises, and disappointments. Everybody falls, everybody has something bad happen. It’s about how you recover, how you cope with it, how you deal with loss and regret and move on. That’s a major, recurring theme in a lot of my lyrics.”
To me that perfectly crystallizes the man… the person… the performer…
the imperfect-gifted-human-being that Billy Joel is. This is a tremendous book… that reminds all of us… why at one time or another we all get caught up… or affected by lyrics. Some make us feel not so alone… because we realize other people must feel what we feel… or there wouldn’t be a song about it… other lyrics help us dream… about what we either haven’t achieved yet… or realize there are dreams that will never come true… but we can still dream… and there are lyrics that motivate… lyrics that inspire you… to wholeheartedly believe… that if you get up… one more time… than you’re knocked down… you can make it.
Billy Joel is one of the best in putting that lyrical hand out to help you up!
Thank you Fred Schruers for this excellent entertainer biography (probably the best bio I've read since Simon Callow's "Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu"). I truly feel I got to know Billy Joel (his family history is particularly fascinating, would make a good "theme" for a musical or opera).
I must admit that while I have long loved much of Billy Joel's work, even considered myself a fan, I've had a superficial picture of the man himself. My impressions: Long Island, Christie Brinkley, frequent meltdowns, mammoth tours, and a wealth of songs written over a long period of time, were at best superficial. I almost put the book down after several chapters of feeling mired in Long Island's rock scene during the early and mid-sixties, when Joel dropped out of high school, formed, joined and left several bands, and became a locally popular rock singer while experimenting to discover his voice. The names were unfamiliar to me, and I almost quit. Then, as Joel begins to emerge, so did my interest, and the book took on a life of its own, as I moved through it with joy and enthusiasm. The book is sparsely illustrated and contains, insofar as I can see from the galley I read, no index or list of sources, although credit is freely given within the text. I supplemented my reading by using three resources: Spotify to listen to Joel's recorded work, especially the live concerts, Wikipedia for additional details about individuals mentioned in the book, especially those from the recording industry, and Google Images to allow me better to visualize the people, although I really needed no help when it came to Christie Brinkley. All three of these resources were enormously useful to me, as a casual fan, but would probably prove unnecessary for one more knowledgeable than I.
The biography generally maintains a chronological view of Billy Joel, presenting a detailed account of how the Joel family, prosperous Jews from Germany escaped the holocaust, arriving in Cuba and then immigrating, penniless, to New York City. Billy's father, Howard, was a classical pianist, who soon deserted the family and eventually returned to Vienna. Joel was born in the Bronx in 1949, and his mother Rosalind soon moved to Hicksville, Long Island, in the heart of what emerged under the generic name of Levittown. Billy early studied classical piano, but in the musically overheated environment was attracted to rock and roll, and never left. While never finishing high school, Joel emerges as a voracious reader with a leftward lean, and a student of classical as well as contemporary music. From his early teen years, he asserts he wanted nothing more than to be a musician. Joel performed with several bands to increasing notice, and signed several early contracts in which he gave away most of the rights to his own compositions, an error which took him many years and millions of dollars to extract himself from. The cost of his early misplaced trust in shady characters in the recording industry probably is responsible for keeping Joel on the road much more intensely than he otherwise would have been, however, it's as a performer of his own highly autobiographical and emotive songs in concert and on recordings that his reputation stands. These people and errors are carefully discussed and analyzed in the book....The remainder of this review can be read on my blog (Google: Bluegrass Ted) where you can also find an Amazon portal to order it from. Thanks
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