Former Billy Joel Band drummer Liberty DeVitto is about to make some noise with his new memoir, “LIBERTY: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness,” due July 14. The book comes with a big surprise — a foreword by Joel.
DeVitto and Joel had a falling out and parted ways in 2005 citing “musical differences” at the time. In fact, DeVitto was quite critical of Joel in the 2016 rock documentary, “Hired Gun.” However, it appears the former bandmates have buried the hatchet.
“We were a merry band of brothers for many years and over many miles, and despite whatever personal or financial catastrophes eventually befell all of us, we were as much a family unit as any other relationships we had formed during our lives. And, like our other families, we inflicted hurts and wounds on each other — never intending to cause lasting scars,” says Joel in the foreword. “Reading this book has brought a flood of warm memories that I had long since forgotten, and which I now regret having allowed to lapse into shrouded history, along with other timeworn milestones of my past.”
In the book's afterword, DeVitto, 69, reveals how he got Joel to do the foreword by reaching out through a white-flag email.
“I needed to get over the bitterness and hurt that I still had for Billy — not keep harboring it. I was concentrating on the loss all the time, but I needed to think about the great times we had, the legendary music we made together, and all the lives we touched together,” says the drummer who grew up in Seaford. “It was time to let go.”
Much like his drumming, the book is raw, honest and charismatic. DeVitto takes the readers on a journey throughout his entire life — including his 30-year tenure in Joel’s band from 1975 to 2005, where he goes through each song on every album he played on.
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