I Go to Extremes: The Billy Joel Story

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Robson, 2007 - Rock musicians - 269 pages

"I want the real story told, and I was hoping it would be done by someone like you that I trust" – Billy Joel


Billy Joel's long-time friend, veteran writer Bill Smith has unprecedented access to the singer who has moved millions with his music and heartfelt performances. With hours of taped interviews with dozens of friends, lovers, ex-wives, industry executives and managers, he has all the material to write the consummate Billy Joel book.


From Joel's early love of classical music and the first professional music jobs he took to supplement the family income, to becoming a multiple Grammy Award winner and being named by Columbia Records as their biggest-selling solo artist of the 20th century, 'I Go to Extremes' is the most comprehensive account available of Joel's remarkable career. Among the highlights are new insights into Joel's marriage to the supermodel Christie Brinkley and the birth of their daughter, Alexa Ray, collaborations with Ray Charles, Steve Winwood and Cyndi Lauper, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Joel's thoughts on being a favourite of former US president Bill Clinton.

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About the author (2007)

Bill Smith was born in Bristol, England on May 12th, 1938 and emigrated to Canada in 1963. As a young man he played drums and trumpet casually in England. He now plays E-flat & C soprano saxophones and drums. Is a photographer, writer and film producer. From 1963 until 2001 he was the art director/editor of "Coda" Magazine. He has performed and recorded with numerous players among them David Prentice, David Lee, Michael Snow, Leo Smith, Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, Wolfgang Fuchs, Phil Minton, Roger Turner, John Tchicai, Vinny Golia... His many recordings are all in the analog world, two of which (with Joe McPhee - Visitation & with Leo Smith - Rastafari) are soon to be reissued on CD by Boxholder. A new CD of duets with guitarist Tony Wilson (Learning New Tricks) has just been released. Since 1989 he has lived on Hornby Island.

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