Home Entertainment News Billy Joel’s Life and Times Celebrated in Stony Brook

Billy Joel’s Life and Times Celebrated in Stony Brook

by Mike Cutino
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Season Wellington

Stony Brook got an exciting visit from Long Island’s own piano man,
Billy Joel, at a VIP event Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at The Long
Island Music and Entertainers Hall of Fame where a new exhibit titled
The Ultimate Exhibition, Billy Joel-My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey
celebrating Joel’s iconic career opens to the public starting Thanksgiving

Display of some of Joel’s platinum and gold albums and awards behind a glass case Photography by Season Willington

Immersed in memorabilia from his legendary musical journey, Joel told
the crowd, “This is a little overwhelming. Did you ever find yourself
surrounded by you? I mean where did they get all this stuff? It’s a little
intimidating, I guess I’ve lived. I always wondered, did I pick this life or
did it pick me?”

Billy Joel and Ernie Canadeo (Chair of LIMEHOF) shaking hands Photography credit Season Willington

Ernie Canadeo, LIMEHOF chairman, said, “We did it! We created the
first Billy Joel exhibit anywhere. It’s so appropriate that it’s located here
on Long Island where Billy spent most of his life and created much of
his incredible music. It is also appropriate that it has been created and
will be displayed exclusively at the Long Island Music and
Entertainment Hall of Fame home to over 120 inductees honoring Long
Island’s musical heritage.”
The LIMEHOF was founded in 2004 with a mission to celebrate Long
Island’s musical heritage. On November 25, 2022, the organization
moved into the Ward Melville Educational and Cultural Center, a stately
8,800-square foot colonial style building anchoring Stony Brook Village.
The organization opened with an exhibit on Long Island’s legendary
club scene. That premier exhibition as well as the Joel exhibit are
presented in partnership with Catholic Health.

Canadeo went on to introduce Kevin O’Callaghan, a world renowned
exhibition designer, who with his team, created this exhibit in specific
detail with artifacts from Joel’s early years as a kid from the Levittown
section of Hicksville, to his early bands, the Hassles and Attila, to his
solo career starting with his first studio album, Cold Spring Harbor
(1971) through to his present residency at Madison Square Garden.
Special thanks were given to Joel’s team for providing so much from his
archives and personal collection.

Banner display of The Last Play at Shea

“To do an exhibition with the piano man, Billy Joel, is an unbelievable
dream come true,” said O’Callaghan. “When we first met Billy, he
couldn’t be more welcoming. He’s a humble guy and he usually doesn’t
do things that put him on a pedestal, but I explained to him that this
would be a party, that we’re gonna celebrate your career and the people
that you inspired and inspired you so in the exhibition we have tributes
to Sir Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Beethoven.”
There is a tribute to what Billy called the one performance that changed
his life, The Beatles at Shea Stadium with a vintage television playing
that performance at Shea.
In addition to the tributes described by O’Callaghan, the exhibit features
rare photos and audio recording sessions. Interactive elements play a
major role in the exhibit including a record shop with only the records
Billy listened to that really inspired him when he was a kid. Visitors will
be able to remove the records from the sleeves and play them on vintage
record players. There is a reproduction of his recording studio and a
photo op area where people will be able to walk up and be part of the
album. They will be able to stand there like Billy Joel and take a photo
as if they are on the album cover. In addition, many of his awards and
gold and platinum albums will be on display in glass cases.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the 9 foot piano from the Elton John,
Face to Face Tour, standing gracefully on a revolving stage with a giant
screen projecting scenes from his concerts as a backdrop.

Legendary DJ, Bob Buckman, who began his career at WBAB and now
is SiriusXM director of music programming, worked with Joel on his
Charity Begins at Home and together they did 29 years of marathons
supporting the charity. Buckman said, “You know the slogan was put
your money where your mouth is, but his was put your money where
your house is. That’s the way he thought and continues to think. He’s
always there when Long Island needs something. And that’s why we
wanted to honor him.”
On hand at the VIP event welcoming Joel to his exhibit were
congressman, Nick LaLota, Brookhaven and future Suffolk County
Executive, Ed Romaine and Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone,
who officially named November 21 st , Billy Joel Day in Suffolk County.
“I believe that everybody has to be part of an exhibition,” said
O’Callaghan. “There are going to be things for children to do. There’s
going to be events based around this exhibition that will take place. This
is going to be a major thing. This is the Billy Joel dream come true.”

Tickets are now on sale for The Ultimate Exhibition, Billy Joel-My Life,
A Piano Man’s Journey at The Long Island Music and Entertainment
Hall of Fame in Stony Brook Village, NY at limusichalloffame.org.
Phone number: 631-689-5888