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Here are some of the book’s biggest revelations: — Joel's parents, German Jews, barely survived the Holocaust, having escaped at the last minute through Cuba. The family's whole harrowing story is chronicled in a little-known, 2001 documentary titled "The Joel Files." — Always self-deprecating, Joel assessed his star appeal early on, with the line “Look at me. I look like a guy who makes pizza.” — Despondent over his failing career in his 20s, Joel tried to commit suicide by swallowing fistfuls of Nembutal, washed down with furniture polish.
“I’m sick of being called ‘The American Elton John,’” Joel fumed.But there wouldn’t seem to be much, judging by the candor of “Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography” (Crown Archetype, ), out Tuesday.The book offers a funny and revealing account of one of the most popular songwriters of our time — not to mention of our area.Bart’s when an untested singer named Whitney asked if he would listen to her.“There was an edge of ‘go away kid, you’re bothering me,’” Joel remembers as he dismissed her. I could’ve discovered Whitney Houston.” — When Joel dated model Elle Macpherson, he thought she was “so tall, I look like Bubbles the Chimp next to her.