Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography" by Fred Schruers

The first "album" I purchased as a kid was Billy Joel's "The Stranger".  As it was the only record I had, I would listen to it over and over again.  Now as an adult, I still love the music he created in his earlier years.  So, it was a no-brainer when I had the opportunity to review Billy Joel's biography by Fred Schruers.

This book details Mr. Joel's life, starting with his affluent Jewish-German grandparents and their son (Billy's future father) fleeing Nazi persecution, and awaiting emigration to the US in Cuba. Sometime after coming the States, his father (who was also a pianist) met and married is mother.

Billy was raised primarily by his mother.  He credits her nurturing attitude to his success in music as his father would have never allowed him to pursue that career in something so impractical.

The book chronicles his rise to success; his first wife's (Elizabeth) part in it; his misplaced trust in the people around him that led to money problems; his marriages and their failures; his relationships with others in the music industry; his challenges with alcohol; and his music, much of which includes a self-fulfilling pessimistic twist.   

Although the story is told by the author, Fred Schruers, there are many quotes from Billy, Billy's former wives, and others close to him.

I found the book to be very interesting although my heart goes out to him.  I truly wish for Mr. Joel that he is able to find the unconditional love and acceptance that he (may unknowingly) seeks.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

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