Supremely successful; volatile, creative; a craftsman, a genius; self-aware and self-destructive, singer-songwriter Billy Joel's life reads like a popular novel. This book takes an in-depth look at "the piano man, " starting with his middle-class Long Island, NY childhood, and his years as a gang member and a working musician. With his breakthrough 1973 album Piano Man, Joel's story becomes one of unstoppable success. Bordowitz covers those heady days, as well as the turbulent business dealings and bad advice that have colored his career. The book explores his big moments, including his inductions into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his shift from popular to classical composition, his move to Broadway, and it also examines his personal struggles with broken marriage and substance abuse. Based on numerous interviews, this biography gives a detailed picture of this deeply troubled man and his music. Includes 24 pages of black-and-white photos. ©2005, 272 pages.