An unauthorized Billy Joel biopic is currently in pre-production and will focus on his early days, according to Variety. The film, titled Piano Man, is being developed via Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios, with Adam Ripp set to write and direct the film. Ripp is the son of Joel’s early manager Artie Ripp, whom he spent years trying to extricate himself from professionally. Jaigantic Studios has aquired the “life rights” of another early Joel manager Irwin Mazur and will base the story around that.
According to the report, “The biopic will follow Joel’s early years — from being discovered by Irwin Mazur, who managed the band the Hassles that Joel joined as a teenager, to his breakout performance in 1972 that captured the attention of Clive Davis.”
Billy Joel is not involved in the project in any way, and according to a representative, “no rights in music, name/likeness or life story will be granted” to the project.
Adam Ripp said in an announcement, “Billy Joel has been a part of my life since my father signed him to his record label when I was 4 years old; his music is ingrained in my DNA and it’s been a dream of mine as a filmmaker to explore and celebrate the untold story of how Billy Joel became the Piano Man.”
Irwin Mazur added: “What a dream come true! These are the real-life events I witnessed first-hand that shaped Billy from a keyboard player in the local Long Island band, the Hassles, into the iconic musician, singer-songwriter, and entertainer who thrills audiences around the world, today.”
- Billy Joel tour dates (subject to change):
March 12 – Orlando, FL – Camping World Stadium
March 24 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 8 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
April 23 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium
May 14 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 10 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 25 – Notre Dame, IN – Notre Dame Stadium
July 9 – Detroit, MI – Comerica Park
July 20 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
August 11 – Pittsburgh, PA – Concert At PNC Park
August 24 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
September 23 – Houston, TX – Minute Maid Park
- In celebration of Billy Joel‘s 50th anniversary, the “Piano Man” has launched the “Billy Joel New York State Of Mind” Landmarks website — and the digital-only release of Places, the first in a series of thematic EP’s showcasing select tracks from across his career.
- Fans can log on to the “Landmarks” website at https://nysom.billyjoel.com/ to explore an interactive map highlighting 50 special New York locations connected to Billy’s life and songs, “from Cold Spring Harbor to Madison Square Garden, from Sullivan Street to the Hudson River Line.”
- Places, the five-track EP showcases songs associated with New York locations on the interactive map: “New York State Of Mind,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” “Big Man On Mulberry Street,” “Everybody Loves You Now” and “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway).”
CHECK IT OUT: The 1967 promo film for “I Hear Voices” by Billy Joel’s early band The Hassles: