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They lost out because label honcho Jerry Wexler told the artist his song "Piano Man" sounded too much like Jerry Jeff Walker's 1968 hit "Mr. Stop." — Joel didn’t want to marry his first wife, Elizabeth, back in the early ’70s because he was only 24.Looking at their wedding pics he remarked, “this man looks like he’s getting booked for a crime.” — Even with "Piano Man" on the radio, the like-named album netted Joel less than 00 in its breakthrough year."You should have million in cash." — Joel dropped acid “all of three times” and used heroin just once on a plane from Amsterdam to Stockholm. “The truth is, I don’t know much about sobriety, I know a hell of a lot about drinking,” he told Schruers.Billy says “the feeling of incredible pleasure” heroin gave him scared the hell out of him. — The spats between Billy and Elton escalated when Joel was sick and had to cancel a show in Manchester. "I don't give a f--k," he said, blaming Joel's drinking."He's not taking care of himself." — When Billy didn't want to extend some later "Face to Face" live dates with Elton, the British pianist told the press he respected Billy's decision.Schruers says "privately, he was fuming." — In 2011, Elton told Rolling Stone that Billy "was coasting., We've had so many cancelled tours because of illness and...alcholism.The 52-year-old supermodel has recently been romantically linked to David Foster, and a source close to the 67-year-old music producer tells ET that the two are in fact seeing one another.
But, Billy thought, “I couldn’t help thinking that Frank Sinatra would have made a threesome out of that night.” — Billy hated his 1986 album "The Bridge" and only put it out due to record company pressure. — Billy so despised the recording of his Russian concert "Koheup," he called it "Kaput." — Jann Wenner, co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, told Billy to name his song “We Didn’t Start The Fire” and encouraged him to put it out. "Do you know how many records you've sold," he asked.
Despite that, his producer insisted on hiring Elton's band to back him.
Rather than do that, Billy fired the producer and tried to hire in his place the Beatles' guy George Martin.
Here are some of the book’s biggest revelations: — Joel's parents, German Jews, barely survived the Holocaust, having escaped at the last minute through Cuba. The family's whole harrowing story is chronicled in a little-known, 2001 documentary titled "The Joel Files." — Always self-deprecating, Joel assessed his star appeal early on, with the line “Look at me. I look like a guy who makes pizza.” — Despondent over his failing career in his 20s, Joel tried to commit suicide by swallowing fistfuls of Nembutal, washed down with furniture polish.
When he awoke, he thought, “Oh great, I couldn’t even do this right.” — Atlantic Records tried to sign Billy right before Columbia did.