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Billy Joel looks back on his life Photo: AP
Billy Joel looks back on his life Photo: AP

Billy Joel discusses Jewish origins

'Piano man' opens up about his family's background, his childhood in newly released video

David Shear
Published: 09.03.11, 09:30 / Israel Culture

With over 150 million records sold worldwide, the "Piano Man" is widely considered one of the greatest music artists of all-time.


While Billy Joel's Jewish linage is well documented, back on June 4, 1995 in a concert in Nuremberg, Germany, Joel discussed his Jewish origins, his upbringing and family life with his audience.


On the sixth question in the series, his brother Alex Joel accompanied Billy onstage at Meistersinger Hall and translated the question from German into English. In his answer, Billy looks back on his life as a young child growing up in Hicksville, Long Island, a predominantly Christian neighborhood.


Regarding his circumcision he said, "I had the snip and I had nothing to say about it. I'm still a little pissed off about that."


Later on as a child, when Billy found out he was Jewish, he broke the news to the girl across the street, who replied, "You're going to grow up and have horns on your head." For months afterwards Joel would obsessively check his temples for signs of horns coming in.


It's a funny and very open discussion that all fans of Billy Joel should watch.


This video has been released publicly for the first time and can be viewed here.


Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life



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