Liberty DeVitto — Billy Joel's legendary drummer between 1975 and 2005 — will publish his memoirs on July 14th. The book, titled, Liberty: Life, Billy, And The Pursuit Of Happiness, features a foreword by the “Piano Man” himself, ending years of bad blood between Billy and DeVitto.
According the book's announcement, among the topics covered in the autobiography are, “The making of each of Billy's albums is recounted in detail, with specific memories from the recording sessions of every song on every album from Turnstiles through Storm Front. Liberty then shares stories from the production and tour for River Of Dreams and the end of his tenure with Billy.”
Liberty DeVitto played on such Billy Joel classics as “Just The Way You Are,” “Movin' Out (Anthony's Song),” “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,” “Only The Good Die Young,” “My Life,” “Big Shot,” “You May Be Right,” It's Still Rock And Roll To Me,” “Allentown,” “Pressure,” “Uptown Girl,” “We Didn't Start The Fire,” “Tell Her About It,” “A Matter Of Trust,” and many, many more.
Although Liberty DeVitto's first album with Billy Joel — 1976's Turnstiles stalled at a dismal Number 122 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, Liberty explained it always served as the backbone to all of Billy's concerts: “Well, the funny thing is, is that when we played live, the live show was always Turnstiles-heavy. We did 'Miami 2017,' 'I've Loved These Days,' 'Angry Young Man's' on that — 'New York State Of Mind' is on that.”
Liberty admitted that after he was tossed from Billy's band — the last thing he wanted to hear was the music they created together: “It took a long time for me to go back. I went back. . . The first time I went to Sicily to reunite with my cousins and stuff, on the way back, I had my iPod. I had all the albums on my iPod. I said, 'I'm gonna listen to everything.' That's when I thought, 'Yeah — we were pretty good.'”
Billy Joel's classic 1970's and '80s band has reunited in recent years under the moniker The Lords Of 52nd Street. The group — featuring Liberty DeVitto, guitarist Russell Javors, and saxophonist/keyboardist Richie Cannata — got their name from Billy's producer, the late-Phil Ramone.
The Lords decided to reform in 2015 after the members were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.