Apart from the botched release of Cold Spring Harbor, 1971 was a surprisingly low-key year for Billy Joel. His teenage band collapsed a few years before. And the proto-metal power duo that rose from its ashes failed to gain any traction.
Broke, depressed, and aimless, Billy was ready to leave the music industry for good. And, he may have done just that, if his manager at the time didn’t come through with a last-minute deal.
Of course, that deal would haunt Billy for years to come. After the album was released in November, he played a sparse handful of dates in New York at the end of the year. Meanwhile, there are no reviews, interviews, or press clippings to speak of.
But look closely, and you’ll see a lot of small things develop, arrive, or otherwise get set in motion and affect his trajectory for decades to come. Join us as we dive deep into 1971.
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