Motorcycle Music

Billy Joel is continuing his love for motorcycles by opening his very own motorcycle shop in his hometown located in New York.

Born on May 9, 1949 in the Bronx, William Martin Joel, and family later moved to the Levittown section of Hicksville on Long Island where he spent his childhood and young adult years.

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The singer who has a sidecar of hit songs, music awards as well as a famous model for an ex-wife (Christie Brinkley) is adding the finishing touches to his latest venture, 20th Century Cycles, in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

The shop will sell motorcycles and accessories and serve as a biker stop for fellow two-wheel enthusiasts. Billy new venture is named after an exhibition he staged in New York last year to show off his own impressive collection of machines.

The music icon has long been obsessed with motorbikes old and new. In 2005, he set up a restoration business with friend Ralph Schneider to rebuild old cycles, and he is frequently seen riding around on a vintage British and Italian bikes from the World War II era.

In the August 2010 edition of Men’s Journal magazine, Billy Joel said he brings about a half dozen motorcycles with him on tour and rides with members of the crew.

He is pictured in that article riding a 2009 Moto Guzzi California Vintage and discusses his love for riding the New England coast from Salem to Portsmouth.

Now the American singer is turning his love for motorcycles into an extended for-profit venture.

Billy Joel Quick Facts

  • 1953 Begins studying piano.
  • 1971 Signs a solo recording contract and releases his first album, Cold Spring Harbor.
  • 1972 WMMR-FM, a radio station in Philadelphia, starts playing a tape of a new song, ‘Captain Jack,’ taken from a live concert broadcast.
  • 1974 The song ‘Piano Man’ becomes his first top 20 single & first gold album.
  • 1977 Writes, records and releases The Stranger, his first collaboration with producer Phil Ramone. From the time of its release in 1977 until 1985, The Stranger is Columbia Records’ biggest selling album.
  • 1978 The song ‘Just the Way You Are’ captures two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
  • 1980 Glass Houses reaches #1 on the Billboard Album Chart and remains there for six weeks. ‘It’s Still Rock N Roll to Me’ becomes his first #1 single.
  • 1981 Wins Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male at the 1981 Grammy Awards, as well as a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Pop Performer.
  • 1983 Writes and records the album An Innocent Man which reaches #4 on the Billboard charts and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The album generates six Top 40 singles, three of which make it to the Top 10, including ‘Uptown Girl’ which receives a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
  • 1985 Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II is released and becomes his seventh consecutive top 10 album. ‘You’re Only Human (Second Wind)’ becomes his eighth Top 10 single. Marries model Christie Brinkley. Their daughter Alexa Ray is born at the end of the year.
  • 1989 Begins working with Producer Mick Jones and records Storm Front. The first single ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ reaches #1 on Billboard singles charts.
  • 1993 Records River Of Dreams which debuts at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart. The single ‘The River of Dreams’ also debuts at #1 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart where it stays for three weeks. In addition, the single spends 12 weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, setting a new record.
  • 1994 Marriage to Christie Brinkley ends.
  • 1999 Presented with the American Music Awards’ Award of Merit. Worldwide sales top the 100 million-unit mark.
  • 2000 Decides motorcycles are easier than women. They are faster and they don’t talk back. He rides off into the sunset and lives happily ever after.