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Billy Joel The Life and Times of an Angry Young Man

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Billy Joel : The Life & Times of an Angry Young Man takes an in-depth look at "the piano man," starting with his middle-class-poor Long Island, NY, childhood and his years as a gang member, boxer, and working musician. With his breakthrough 1973 album Piano Man, Joel's story becomes one of unstoppable success. Author Hank Bordowitz covers those heady days, as well as the t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Crown Publishing Group (first published July 1st 2005)
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John
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 25-books-in-2013
Confession number one: I fucking LOVE Billy Joel. From age five, a babysitter's eldest daughter put me on the path to obsessing over Billy's music. Hey, it's pretty hard for a kindergartener NOT to be mesmerized by "We Didn't Start the Fire"! And two-and-a-half decades on, a short stint of listening to 'cool' music (grindcore) wasn't enough to deter me from rediscovering the Joel catalog a time or two in my nascent adulthood. So yes, Virginia, there IS a Billy Joel fan club out there, and we're ...more
Daryl
Feb 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author was not allowed access to Billy Joel for interviews and research. Moreover, most people who have been and are associated with the Billy Joel were pretty tight-lipped. So this is basically a compilation of earlier published interview and articles.
Jen
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I liked the content, wasn't crazy about the writing. There were a lot of contradictions, in particular about the drug use (or the lack of - after reading this book I have no idea, as Bordowitz kept flip-flopping on the issue).
I am a HUGE - like, in an unhealthy way - Billy Joel fan. There wasn't much here I didn't know, but I appreciated getting more details. I like that the author took an unbiased approach and we saw the good, the bad and the ugly. As much as I love (LOVE) Billy, I know he's no
...more
Kim
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting read about an amazing song writer and performer. Its amazing that he is who he is with the way he was treated so early in life by his dad....pretty sucky!! Billy Joel hasn't had any recent hits in awhile and yet continues to sell out at crowds all over the world. And yet he doesn't think he is all that different from anyone else. This is a must read for any Billy Joel fan!!!!
Scott McCormick
Some interesting topics about Billy Joel but I just couldn't get deeply into it. Takes you up to about 2004. Not sure what I was looking for but didnt find it in this book.
Jami Andrews
May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is perhaps one of the worst edited books I have ever read. Typos and poor grammar abound.
Beyond that though is the amount of facts that are incorrect. If the author couldn't be bothered to check his facts how much credence can we put into the hearsay that is the basis of the book.
Mike Kennedy
Being a life long Billy Joel fan, it was interesting to learn about his life which I knew little about. Didn't think it was the best written book, especially because it your weren't playing super close attention, it was hard to know who was speaking. To say the book had a ton of long quotes would be an understatement. It looks like the author used mostly quotes from interviews and other articles, so it was more like a compilation of tidbits, than the other telling his take on Billy Joel's life. ...more
Dillon Hills
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a damn good biography.

I have always known Billy Joel had a rough life, but not to this degree. The man has put up with shit constantly to where, when the book went for a chapter about his great accomplishments, I felt like I was reading something completely different.

I love Billy Joel. He is one of my favorite musicians and after reading this I respect him as a person and musician more than ever.

In many ways I feel I can relate to him. He’s not that “big rock star” that’s constantly wan
...more
Kate
Nov 19, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Billy Joel fans who know enough about Bill to take everything in this book with a grain of salt.
Bordowitz's sources are far from reliable or insightful, and whoever edited this text was a complete imbecile... or blind. If you can get past the gossip-y nature and egregious editorial errors in this book, what is left is enough interesting tid-bits about Billy's personal life to keep fans interested. As an avid Joel fan myself, I found the book to be a let down, but still not a complete waste of my time. Thanks to the few insights into Billy's past I hadn't heard of before - such as specifics ...more
Nick H
Mar 10, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I like Billy Joel, there isn't a whole lot to take away from this book other than the fact that it might be the most poorly edited book I've ever read. The same anecdotal stories are used more than twice on more than one occasion, reminiscent of a college student that has put off a big paper until the night before and really has to get it up to so many words to be able to turn it in. I'd have given it 2 stars for the modicum if information learned about Billy's formidable years, and h ...more
Louie Verile JR.
Dec 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some people should never be allowed to write books... Hank Bordowitz is one of them. The book reads like a high school student wrote it. Complete waste of time.
Patricia
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been a Billy Joel fan and found this book to be interesting. It also reminded me of some music he wrote that I haven't listened to in year, it brought back fond memories.
Andrew
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, music
Billy Joel's life makes for a fairly interesting read, but the writer (and by extension the editor) was a bit sloppy in his approach.
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