Billy Joel made an appearance Tuesday, November 21, at a preview of Billy Joel — My Life: A Piano Man’s Journey, a new exhibit at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.
“This is a little overwhelming. Did you ever find yourself surrounded by you?” Joel told the VIP crowd, according to Newsday. “I always wondered, did I pick this life or did it pick me? ‘Cause I really didn’t think I had much of a choice. I was going to do this no matter what because I love music.”
The exhibit showcases over 50 years of Billy Joel memorabilia, including awards, rare audio and video recordings, instruments and behind-the-scenes footage and photos, many of which Billy donated from his archives.
“Where did they get all this junk? I didn’t know where they were storing all these things,” he said. “This is quite an honor. I didn’t expect it to be that extensive. I’ve had a life.”
One of the instruments on display is the 9-foot piano Joel used on his Face to Face Tour with Elton John. There’s also a selfie station where fans can insert themselves into the covers of the rocker’s hit albums, including 52 Street and Glass Houses.
As for whether he hopes the exhibit will inspire future musicians, Joel noted, “I hope they are encouraged to stay with it because that’s what it takes. Don’t give up and don’t let people talk you out of it. Follow your dream.”
The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame is located in Stony Brook, New York. The exhibit officially opens Friday, November 24. Tickets are available at TheBillyJoelExhibit.com.
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