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Chris Gaines
11-27-2000, 09:32 PM
Billy Joel's current status as genteel balladeer, classical composer and staple of easy listening stations gives no hints to his remarkable life story and former status as an angry young man more closely aligned with the fury of rock & roll than temperate pop music.
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<br>William Martin Joel was born on May 9, 1949 in Long Island, N.Y. His father, who survived an internment in the Dachau concentration camp, was a talented classical pianist who enrolled his son in piano lessons at an early age.
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<br>Growing up in suburban Long Island, Joel was a terror. He joined a street gang, committing petty crimes and getting in trouble. In high school, he channeled his aggression into the boxing ring, fighting 22 bouts as a welterweight, one resulting in a broken nose.
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<br>Inspired by The Beatles, a 16-year old Joel formed his first group, The Echoes, who enjoyed moderate success, and earned Joel work as a session musician, including backing the Shangri-Las on their hit "Leader of the Pack." Joel dropped out of high school in his senior year.
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<br>The Echoes kept at it for a couple more years under different names, but failed to break through. Joel joined his next band, The Hassles, in 1967. After 18 months and two failed albums, the Hassles were history. Next came Atilla, a psychedelic duo in which Joel's distorted organ play was the primary instrumentation. Their 1970 album quickly disappeared, and Joel hit a low point. Distraught over his stalled career and a failed romance, he drank a bottle of furniture polish in a misguided suicide attempt. Seeking help, Joel spent three weeks in Meadowbrook Hospital, where he was treated with Thorazine.
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<br>Joel's wretched luck was not over yet. Woefully nave, Joel signed a lifetime contract with Family Productions in which he surrendered his publishing royalties. His 1971 solo debut Cold Spring Harbor was released at the wrong speed, making Joel sound as if he had been inhaling helium during the sessions. Joel left for Los Angeles shortly after with his girlfriend Elizabeth Weber. They wed in 1973, and Joel found work as a lounge pianist.
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<br>Joel documented these days in the song "Piano Man," which became the title of his 1973 debut album for Columbia Records. Joel's first significant success, the record went on to sell over a million copies, though after both his labels had been paid, Joel made only a pittance. His next two albums did not perform as well, though 1976's Turnstiles produced concert-staple "New York State of Mind."
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<br>Pressing on, Joel entered the studio with producer Phil Ramone, known for his work with everyone from Bob Dylan to Barbra Streisand. The resulting album, 1977's The Stranger, was his long-awaited breakthrough, selling 9 million copies, powered by the Grammy-winning single "Just the Way You Are" and radio favorite "Only the Good Die Young." Finally earning some real money, Joel hired his brother-in-law Frank Weber to manage his affairs.
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<br>Each of Joel's subsequent albums sold millions. Glass Houses hit Number 1 in 1980 with a rougher sound including "You May Be Right" and "It's Still Rock 'n Roll to Me." But the early 80s were tough for Joel personally. He was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, necessitating surgery, and his marriage to Weber was breaking up. "Pressure," from his best-selling 1982 album Nylon Curtain summed up his emotional state.
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<br>Things improved dramatically for Joel the following year. Joel met supermodel Christie Brinkley, who became his girlfriend and his muse, inspiring "Uptown Girl" from 1983's An Innocent Man, and starring in the song's video. The two wed in 1985, and had a daughter Alexa Ray, named after Ray Charles.
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<br>In 1987, Joel launched one of the first tours of the Soviet Union by a Western artist. During one show, he pushed a piano offstage in a temper tantrum.
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<br>In 1989, having sold tens of millions of albums, Joel made a shocking discovery Weber had mismanaged over $30 million of his money. Joel filed suit for $90 million, but recovered only a portion of his lost fortune. Out of financial necessity, he launched a massive world tour to support his album Storm Front which featured the hit single "We Didn't Start the Fire."
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<br>In 1993 he returned with "River of Dreams," a reflective album made as his marriage to Brinkley was dissolving. The two split in 1994. That same year, Joel hit the road with Elton John for a series of sold-out stadium shows.
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<br>In 1997, Joel announced he was leaving the world of pop music to focus on classical compositions. He has stayed true to his word, with no new albums and only limited concert appearances. The massive public demand for his music continues unabated his Greatest Hits Volume I & II has sold more than 20 million copies, making it the fourth-highest selling album ever.
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<br>Today, in addition to his classical compositions, Joel spends much of his time aboard his yacht, and is continuing a series of college lectures in which he engages in question-and-answer sessions with students.<hr>
<br>Billy on Tour (2001)
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<br>BILLY JOEL/ELTON JOHN FACE TO FACE TOUR 2001
<br>Friday, January 19 - San Diego, California - Cox Arena
<br>Monday, January 22 - Vancouver, British Columbia - GM Place
<br>Wednesday, January 24 - Tacoma, Washington - Tacoma Dome
<br>Friday, January 26 - Portland, Oregon - Rose Garden
<br>Monday, January 29 - Salt Lake City, Utah - Delta Center
<br>Wednesday, January 31 - Sacramento, California - Arco Arena
<br>Friday, February 2 - Oakland, California - Oakland Coliseum
<br>Sunday, February 4 - San Jose, California - San Jose Arena
<br>Tuesday, February 6 -Los Angeles, California - LA Forum
<br>Tuesday, February 13 - Phoenix, Arizona - American West Arena
<br>Saturday, February 17 - Las Vegas, Nevada - MGM Grand<hr>
<br>Billy's Albums
<br>Cold Spring Harbor
<br>Original Release: 1971
<br>Released on Columbia Records: 1983
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Piano Man
<br>Released: 1973
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Streetlife Serenade
<br>Released: 1974
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Turnstiles
<br>Released: 1975
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>The Stranger
<br>Released: 1977
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>52nd Street
<br>Released: 1980
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Glass Houses
<br>Released: 1980
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Songs In The Attic
<br>Released: 1981
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>The Nylon Curtain
<br>Released: 1982
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>An Innocent Man
<br>Released: 1983
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Greatest Hits Volume I & II
<br>Released: 1985
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
<br>
<br>The Bridge
<br>Released: 1986
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>KOHUEPT
<br>Released: 1987
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Storm Front
<br>Released: 1989
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>River Of Dreams
<br>Released: 1993
<br>Re-Released: 10/20/98
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<br>Greatest Hits Volume III
<br>Released: 1997
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<br>2000 Millennium Concert
<br>Released: May 2, 2000<hr>
<br>Billy's Official Site:
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<br>http://www.billyjoel.com </hr>
<br>There ya have it.. da artist of da week! :)
<br>
<br>JasonN

minnesotagbfan
11-27-2000, 10:03 PM
i am asking for his greatest hits cds for christmas.. or if not find someone with a cd burner..<P>(This message has been edited by minnesotagbfan)<P>(This message has been edited by minnesotagbfan)N

Pilgrim
11-27-2000, 11:58 PM
Thanks a lot for sharing:):)
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<br>BrianN

loreli
11-28-2000, 04:38 AM
I love Billy :)
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<br>Thanks for the info Jason :)
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<br>LoriN

loreli
11-28-2000, 07:15 AM
Were you a good boy this year?
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<br>Maybe Santa will be nice. ;)
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<br>Lori ;)N

Jude
11-28-2000, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the info. I have every cd. Had tickets for the Face to Face tour in London but Billy was ill so we didn't go.
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<br>JudeN

hugeGBnutt
11-29-2000, 12:53 PM
Billy is totally awesome!:cool::)
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<br>.Ari.N

Garth_FANtasizer
11-29-2000, 11:55 PM
I saw Billy Joel in concert on March 24th 1994. It was the best concert I ever went to, until I saw Garth in 98.
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<br>~Ann~ N

Chris Gaines
12-01-2000, 06:56 AM
hehe thanks everyoe..
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<br>look for new artist next monday :)
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<br>JasonN

hugeGBnutt
12-13-2000, 03:32 PM
'Artist Of The Week'....is it STILL Nov. 27?, coulda fooled me:P
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<br>.Ari.<P>(This message has been edited by hugeGBnutt)N