A new English translation has been released for the biography Billy & The Joels: The American Rock Star and His German Family History. Written by Steffen Radlmaier, with a foreword by Billy Joel, the book tells the story of Billy’s family, their flight to escape World War I and II, and how Billy and his family would go on to build a musical legacy. The thrilling Joel story is about an American musician – and about German history. War and peace. Sturm and Drang. Rock and Roll. It’s about success and failure, businessmen and profiteers, about happiness and sadness, about politics, terror and music. The fate of the Jewish Joel family is mirrored in the history of the 20th century in a most remarkable way. However, in contrast to many stories of this kind, this one has a happy ending. Translated from German by John Marshall. Ars Vivendi, 2016.
In some sense I attribute my existence to the greatest catastrophes of twentieth-century Europe. The parents of my mother fled the horror of the First World War from Great Britain to the United States. My father’s parents had to leave Germany because of the Nazi regime. Though a large part of my family was wiped out, my parents survived – and I was born. For me, this is to this day something unfathomable. – Billy Joel
E-book available now at Amazon.
German edition of Billy & The Joels: The American Rock Star and His German Family History by Steffen Radlmaier.
Author Steffen Radlmaier and sister Verena Radlmaier backstage at Billy Joel’s concert in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 3, 2016. Photo by Jeff Schock