Happy Birthday to Billy Joel, who turns 67 on today (May 9th)!!! Last year, the “Piano Man” married longtime girlfriend Alexis Roderick with the couple welcoming their first child, daughter Della Rose, back in August. Billy has a daughter — 30-year-old musician Alexa Ray Joel — from his second marriage to Christie Brinkley. Della Rose is the first for Roderick, who is 34, and a former financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.
Earlier this year, Billy Joel is put his money where his mouth is with a $1 million pledge from his Joel Foundation to help save the struggling Long Island High School for the Arts. Officials claim the school is facing being shut down due to both a dip in enrollment and a lack of tuition revenue. The “Piano Man” will direct his the Joel Foundation to donate the money “to an organization supporting the Long Island High School for the Arts if Nassau BOCES pledges to keep it open for three years.”
Last August 14th, Billy returned to his home turf to play the final show at Uniondale, New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — better known through the years as Nassau Coliseum. He was the final artist to play the iconic Long Island arena before it shuts down for extensive renovations, which will change the face and feel of the hallowed concert venue forever. The Coliseum, which has lost its National Hockey League franchise — the New York Islanders — to the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, is being drastically modified, cutting its 16,170-seat arena down to smaller 13,000-seat venue.
This upcoming August 10th will mark the 22nd anniversary since the Billy Joel released his last studio rock album, River Of Dreams. The album, which peaked at Number One on the Billboard 200, featured the Top Three hit — and Billy’s last Top Ten hit to date — “The River Of Dreams.”
Out now is Billy’s latest release, A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia, a multimedia set featuring two-live CD’s and a DVD/Blu-ray package including the new documentary of Billy’s 1987 trip to Russia — which premiered last year on Showtime — along with a book of rare and never-before-seen photos and newly written liner notes. Also available is a deluxe edition that collects both the audio and visual elements together. The original live album chronicling Billy’s Russian visit, 1987’s Kohuept — which translates to “Concert” — only featured 12 songs, but the new CD, named A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia – The Music, features newly remastered sound with 11 additional tracks — including a bonus rehearsal version of the Beatles’ classic “She Loves You.”
During Billy’s exile from releasing rock music, he composed the 2001 classical album Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions (Music For Solo Piano) and recorded one “pop” song, the big band-inspired one-off single, “All My Life,” which was released in 2007 and produced by the late-Phil Ramone.
In March 2011, Billy released the CD/DVD set Billy Joel: Live At Shea Stadium, featuring appearances by Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Garth Brooks, and Tony Bennett. That November, Billy underwent successful bilateral hip replacement surgery.
Although Billy is known as one of the top musicians in all of rock, he says that his musical limitations could actually be responsible for helping him creating his greatest songs: “I never really applied myself the way I should. I never practiced my scales. I’m limited, and in a way, I think my limitations have helped me as a pop music writer. Sometimes I’ll paint myself into a corner, and I don’t know how to get out, so I just come up with my own solution to get myself out of that corner. And that, in a way, is what may make my material original.”
May 14 – San Diego, CA – PETCO Park
May 20 – Seattle, WA – Safeco Field
May 27 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 17 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
July 1 – Pittsburgh, PA – PNC Park At North Shore
July 9 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park
July 20 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
July 30 – Washington, DC – Nationals Park
August 9 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
August 18 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park
August 26 – Chicago, IL – Wrigley Field
September 3 – Frankfurt, Germany – Commerzbank
September 10 – London, England – Wembley Stadium
September 30 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
October 28 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
November 11 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
November 30 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
December 9 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
December 17 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Photo Courtesy of Sony Legacy