Author: "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography" Will Show Piano Man "Really Is That Good Guy Everybody Wants Him to Be"

Author: "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography" Will Show Piano Man "Really Is That Good Guy Everybody Wants Him to Be"

Crown Archetype/Random HouseIn 2011, Billy Joel pulled the plug on his planned autobiography, The Book of Joel, citing concerns that it was being marketed as a “salacious tell-all.”  But much of the material destined for that memoir is being released on Tuesday, in the form of a new book called Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography.  The author, Fred Schruers, is the same guy who worked with Joel on the scrapped book, and he says this new one will confirm what the public already knows about the Piano Man: He’s a decent guy.

Speaking to Newsday — Billy’s hometown paper — Shruers says, “There’s a reason he’s…very well loved.  I don’t think the public really wants to know the bad stuff, though it’s in there.  They have their imaginings about Billy, and some of them are reflected by the reality.  He’s had his bumps.  It’s very hard to say this without sounding too Pollyanna-ish, but he really is that good guy that everyone wants him to be.”

Schruers says the idea to write a Joel biography came about in 2012, when he ran into the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and the two came to a “handshake agreement” that the author could proceed.  Not only that, but Billy gave Schruers permission to use all the material that he’d gathered for The Book of Joel for the project.  “‘I’ll help you out’ was his phrase,” Schruers tells Newsday.  The writer ended up using nearly 100 hours of interviews he’d done with Joel, as well as interviews he’d done with members of his inner circle over the years.

As for why Billy scrapped The Book of Joel in the first place — even returning a seven-figure advance — Schruers says the project simply came at a bad time in the singer’s life.

“I don’t think he hated what we had done together,” says Schruers.  “But when your dad dies and you’re going through a divorce, you’re in hip pain and you’re pretty emotionally battered, it’s not something you want to talk about all the time in interviews.  You want more of a peak moment to put that book out.”

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Source: 92ZEW Music News




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