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Billy Joel In Motorcyclist Magazine – February 2012

Billy Joel in Motorcyclist magazine

Billy Joel is featured in the February 2012 issue of Motorcyclist magazine. Here is an excerpt:

The Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the New York suburbs from Connecticut. But in another sense, the Long Island Sound might be the music of Billy Joel. While many famous musicians have come from Long Island (Harry Chapin, Mariah Carey, Blue Oyster Cult and The Ramones, to cover the full range of genres), none so strongly personifies the stereotypical Long Islander. Billy Joel has a Brooklyn accent, expertly employs the New York Alphabet and sings songs about blue-collar, working-class folk. When Shea Stadium (1969 Mets forever!) was slated for demolition in 2008, it was Billy who hosted the farewell concert. He is to Long Island what Bruce Springsteen is to New Jersey.

I grew up on Long Island myself, thus have been aware of Billy’s music since “Piano Man” hit the charts in ’73. So when Piaggio USA invited me to attend the Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer Rumble at Billy’s motorcycle shop in Oyster Bay, I jumped at the chance.

Not your ordinary dealership, 20th Century Cycles is more like a museum where Billy houses his impressive collection of vintage and “vintage-ized” motorcycles. He’s got some nice ones, too, including a whole row of Moto Guzzis (see The Bike that Changed My Life, page 15) and my personal favorite, an ’05 Harley-Davidson Sportster done up as an original ’57 model. “Old guys are always telling me, ‘I had one of those,’ Billy says, “And I tell them, ‘No, you didn’t.'”

The Long Island Sound | Cat Tales
1980 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza | The Bike That Changed My Life
Moto Guzzi V7 Racer | First Ride