All three of these young women tried their hardest, but Joel eventually laid eyes on Christie Brinkley. In order to attract her, he got gussied up, sat down at the piano, and played.
Christie sat down next to him to sing with him. It was clear she was interested. She was fresh out of a long relationship with Olivier Chandon de Brailles, race car driver and heir. Just a few days after Joel and Brinkley met, however, Chandon tragically died in a car accident.
The Second Wife
In 1983, a year after he split with Elizabeth Weber, Billy Joel went to St. Bart's for a vacation during the holidays. While there, the 33-year-old found a piano bar and did his thing.
In a manner of seconds, three women were throwing themselves at him and the piano. The three women were Elle Macpherson, then a mere 19 years old, an undiscovered Whitney Houston, and the woman who would become his second wife – Christie Brinkley, twenty-eight years old and just as beautiful as always.
A Real-Life Fantasy
Having three beautiful women drape themselves over the piano is one of the most basic rock-star fantasies, and Joel almost couldn't believe his eyes. All three of the women were vying for his attention.
Whitney proudly exclaimed that she can sing – something the entire world would learn before too long. Meanwhile, Elle had draped herself over the piano like she was a movie star in a romantic film (“The Fabulous Baker Boys” with Michelle Pfeiffer comes to mind). For a dreamer like Joel, this was the perfect thing – his first relationship might not have worked out, but there will always be more fish on the sea. All he had to do was play that piano.
Living in Fantasy Land
Once he heard the news about Chandon's accident, Joel reached out to Brinkley to give his regrets. The two had an immediate connection, however, and before long, their quick friendship became romantic. They started dating soon after.
However, it's important to point something out about this moment in Joel's life. He was, according to Brinkley, already going out with “This girl Elle.” That would be Elle Macpherson, who was just as beautiful as Christie Brinkley – but Brinkley still had the edge. Apparently, if you throw yourself at a man while he's playing the piano, he might just take an interest. It's every guy's fantasy.
All Ten Fingers
Nick Turturro is a relatively well-known actor, mostly for his spot on “NYPD Blue,” but before he broke out, he worked as a doorman for an apartment building looking over Central Park. Joel lived in the penthouse.
As Christy and Elle tried to capture Joel's affections, he would bring them home with him on certain nights. Turturro had the now-frowned-upon habit of ranking the women Joel brought home from one to ten. According to Joel, he would usually hold up seven, eight, or nine fingers, but for Brinkley, Turturro held up all ten fingers. Twice.