James Bosse, O.D. and Billy Joel Revisited

What was Dr. Jim Bosse and Billy Joel folklore, as I blogged about last year is now officially chronicled in a new biography about Billy.


Here is my favorite excerpt from the book:  Jim was in the final year of undergrad school as a bio major when Billy came by and sat at a piano in Jim’s apartment that would become cuts on the Cold Spring Harbor album.  As Bosse recollects, “I was saying, ‘Wow, this is great stuff’.’  ‘Jim’, he said, ‘I want you to come to the studio and play the guitar parts on it'”.  Bosse hadn’t played guitar in a year and was a week from his final exams.  “I said, ‘Billy, I can’t.  Number one, I’m really rusty.  Secondly, if I go into the studio and miss my final, I waste a semester.’  So I passed.  One of the major regrets of my life.”

And here is my favorite photo from the book, with Billy on your lower left and Jim the centerpiece of the back row.


About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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2 Responses to James Bosse, O.D. and Billy Joel Revisited

  1. doctuhdon says:

    Interesting back story from Jewish Business News ( Joel’s mother was Jewish):

    The road to Billy Joe’s biography finally making it to the shelves has not been a straight path. Fred Schruers was approached in 2008 to ghost write the singer’s autobiography, which was initially called “The Book of Joel.” With Harper Collins expecting a best seller and anticipating a first run of 250,000 Joel scrapped the plan only weeks before the release.

    According to the Columbus Dispatch, Joel said, “It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music.” He told Newsday, “I saw it being promoted as a salacious tell-all, which it wasn’t in the first place. I said, no, no, no, no that is not how I want to be defined.”

    Many writers would have been frustrated, but Schruers, who also wrote for Rolling Stone, always had a feeling Joel would scrap the project and honored the fact Joel was very “candid” about it. All of Schruers effort finally paid off in the form of a finished piece when Joel approached him again in 2012 and decided this time he did want a book written, but preferred the approach of a biography, which involves some distance and includes other perspectives to an autobiography. The result is “Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography.” Well, you can’t get less salacious and more official sounding than that.

  2. Interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing that, Dan.

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