In his song “The Ballad of Billy the Kid,” Billy Joel sang about coming “from a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island.” On October 19, that town named a street after him.
WABC-TV reports that The Piano Man received a key to the Town of Oyster Bay and was on hand for the unveiling of Billy Joel Way, with the street located in front of his motorcycle shop, 20th Century Cycles. Billy grew up in Hicksville, a hamlet within the town.
During the ceremony, Billy was serenaded by a band made up of kids from the local grade school. He also met with a group of veterans.
“It’s a beautiful day, just a little overwhelming,” Billy told reporters. “I just never figured on this when I was living here.” Calling the experience surreal, he noted, “Who could’ve predicted this? My mom would’ve been thrilled.”
But when asked what it was like for him to see the street sign for the first time, he said he didn’t know, because the sun was shining in his eyes.
As WABC notes, Billy’s charity The Joel Foundation recently donated funds to erect a memorial in honor of the baymen who work in Oyster Bay Harbor. Long Island’s baymen inspired Billy’s hit “The Downeaster ‘Alexa.‘” The foundation also announced the continuation of its long-term investment in Long Island High School for the Arts.
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