HarperCollins has announced that Billy Joel has canceled the release of The Book of Joel, a memoir that was set to hit stores in June. The book was already written and edited, and was being prepared for printing when Joel backed out of his contract earlier this week. Since the plug was pulled at the last moment, some advance preview editions of the book had already been made available to some members of the press.
“It took working on writing a book to make me realize that I’m not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music,” Joel said in a statement; he had no further comment.
“It was a decision that Billy made and he no longer wanted to move forward with it,” Joel’s publicist Claire Mercuri told Rolling Stone. “I felt he feels that his lyrics in the songs and his music really speaks about his life better than anything else.”
HarperCollins acquired the book project for $3 million in 2008. Joel is expected to return his advance on that sum to the publisher, though no details of the arrangement have been made public.