The guy who gave us radio standards like, “Piano man” and “Uptown girl” and “Only the good die young”—is now giving us…a custom and vintage motorcycle showroom on Long Island. I wonder if Billy digs Ducati luxury motorbikes, they are some of the best on the market.
Billy Joel, the piano pop star from the 70’s and 80’s has always been a favorite son of his native Long Island, and has often drawn from the characters he met there for many of his songs, but he has also always been…. a motorcycle guy.
Now he’s also a motorcycle shop owner.
Joel has recently opened up the “20th Century Cycles” shop in the Long Island the village of Oyster Bay. He’s not expecting to make a ton of sales with this project, but is just indulging in his passion for bikes, and trying to re-inject some of the enthusiasm for the classy machines that once roared around Long Island during his youth.
He says he sees it as a showcase for customized and modified bikes, and presumes to attract high-end tinkerers and “gear-heads.”
“I used to ride back in the ’60s. I started out on British bikes. I had a BSA. I didn’t really mean to ever become a collector. I do still like to ride these things, but I now have 31 motorcycles and it’s kind of dopey, having that many bikes. I’m running out of space.” He told reporters at his showroom opening.
Joel suffers from a bad hip, and has not been touring of late, but was thrilled to be back in Oyster Bay for the opening, as he has lived there on-and-off since he was a teenager. It took him back to where he first fell in love with motorcycles as art.
“I remember when I was a little kid and seeing a full-dressed Harley. It was almost like seeing – I don’t know – a buffalo. It was very impressive. I remember looking at all the detail on it. There’s a famous painting by Norman Rockwell which is exactly that scene, these kids looking at full dressed Harley fringes hanging off of the bike and badges hanging all over it and lights and rails . . . and that’s one of my favorite paintings."
This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s love of motorcycles has grown over the years, and also led him to stage an art exhibit of his own, using some of his coolest bikes. For his first exhibit, "Billy Joel’s Motorcycle as Art and Icon," he hand-picked 20 bikes from his collection, including many that he designed himself, to display as art and as possibilities for other collectors.
Now it seems Billy Joel has gone full circle, from a gawking kid who fell in love with a Harley, to a BSA rider, to a collector and display artist, and now to entrepreneur and shop owner back in the old hometown.
Ride on Billy!
Don’t miss out fleet of luxury rental cars on your way out!
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals