Billy Joel’s 1st Wife Inspired ‘Just the Way You Are’ But She Only Cared About the Royalties

by Jeremy Spirogis
Billy Joel looking off to the side, sitting at a piano, looking to the right

Billy Joel is formally a legend. With a formidable internet price of $225 million, and tons of prime songs that at the moment are thought-about classics, followers might imagine Joel has achieved all his targets in life. But that’s not the case. Despite all his success, Joel isn’t so fortunate in love. He has now been married to his fourth spouse Alexis Roderick for 5 years, and hopefully that is the lasting love he has written about in so a lot of his songs. Joel’s romantic work has been impressed by his varied wives all through the years, numerous his most romantic numbers have been written for his first spouse, Elizabeth Weber.

Billy Joel looking off to the side, sitting at a piano, looking to the right
Billy Joel | Kevin Kane/Getty Images

Billy Joel had a dramatic first marriage 

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Joel’s first marriage could have impressed some nice songs, however the best way these two bought collectively was not precisely romantic. Weber was already married when she and Joel first met in 1970. Not solely was she taken, however her husband was Joel’s bandmate, Jon Small, in keeping with Biography. Joel was 21 on the time, and his attraction for Weber led to an affair. He was clearly not in the most effective way of thinking on the time, and even went to a psychological establishment with suicidal ideas after Weber left each him and Small. 

But that wasn’t the top for Weber and Joel. The two bought again collectively, and married in 1973. Joel allowed Weber to handle him, and even employed her brother to work for him. It ended up being an enormous mistake. 

“Just the Way You Are” was written for Billy Joel’s first spouse 

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Joel wrote three of his largest hits for his first spouse. “She’s Got a Way,” “She’s Always a Woman,” and “Just the Way You Are” are all impressed by Weber, however as an alternative of seeing them as romantic gestures, Weber noticed them as business alternatives. Apparently when Joel performed her “She’s Got a Way,” and “She’s Always a Woman,” Weber reacted by asking if she would get royalties for the songs. 

When Joel offered Weber with “Just the Way You Are” as a birthday present, Weber was extra excited about her rights to the music than the thoughtfulness of the present. She apparently requested “Do I get the publishing, too?” After listening to it for the primary time. Even although her response to romantic gestures appear unhealthy, it’s really not the worst factor about Weber with regards to cash. Her brother stole cash from Joel outright. 

Billy Joel’s first spouse was extra excited about royalties than romance

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Weber made it clear that she solely cared about cash from the start, however Joel is a hopeless romantic and didn’t wish to quit on his relationship with Weber, even after all of the pink flags. The closing nail within the coffin got here when Joel was within the hospital following a motorbike accident. Weber got here to him with a contract, asking him to signal over every thing he owned to her, in keeping with PageSix. Joel refused, and their marriage was over. 

But taking Joel’s cash was apparently a household affair. According to LA Times, Weber’s brother, who had been performing as Joel’s supervisor, stole $90 million from him, in keeping with Joel. He sued for the cash, however Joel’s former supervisor filed for chapter, making it troublesome for Joel to gather what he was due. 

For his half, Joel could have realized to cease writing songs about ladies he loves. According to Songfacts, Joel began to suppose writing a music about somebody meant the connection received’t final. “Every time I wrote a song for a person I was in a relationship with, it didn’t last. It was kind of like the curse. Here’s your song – we might as well say goodbye now.”

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