Fred Schruers, author of the new book, Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography, recently shared his thoughts with the Miami New Times on the top ten moments that he believes define Billy Joel as both an artist and individual. Do you agree with his picks? Here is the first one:
Young Billy Practices Piano
By the time Billy reached age 7, his mother, Rosalind, had become a single mom. Still, the influence of his father, Howard, a former classical pianist, lingered. When Rosalind saw her son banging away on the family’s upright piano, she offered to hire a local woman to teach him the instrument.
The fact that his tutor was also a ballet instructor gave the local bullies in his Hicksville, New York, neighborhood something to tease him about, so out of necessity, Billy also learned to box. Then, with one well-aimed punch, he convinced the local thugs never to bother him again.
Rosalind, who died last year at age 92, was the inspiration for the song “Rosalinda’s Eyes.” It’s a number Billy insisted his dad should have written for his wife but never did.
Read the complete list at the Miami New Times.
Top photo by Jeff Schock