In 2015, Billy Joel had gone through divorce three times. He wasn’t done yet, though – in that same year; he walked down the aisle with his fourth wife, a former hedge fund manager named Alexis Roderick.
Despite the bad breakups he’s had with each one, Joel has been able to stay on good terms with all of his ex-wives – not to mention the numerous girlfriends and short-term relationships he’s had with models and other famous names that never made it to the chapel. His three wives are Elizabeth Weber, Christie Brinkley, and Katie Lee. They might have ended in heartbreak, but Billy Joel is nothing if not a gentleman.
What He Really Wanted
In talks with his biographer Fred Schruers, Billy Joel mentioned that when he was young, he was envious of couples. He would see people walking down the street that looked like they had been together for thirty, forty, or fifty years. They'd lasted so long – why couldn't Billy have that? He dreamed about it, thought about it, wrote music and lyrics about it.
He tried again and again to achieve this dream, but three painful marriages have proved that even those who look for it don't always find it. At the very least, he got plenty of great music out of it.
The Women Made the Music
It should come as no surprise to anybody who knows anything about music – or relationships – that the women in Billy Joel's life have contributed to his songs.
Just off the top of our heads, we can thank his first wife, Elizabeth Weber, for the songs “Just the Way You Are,” “She's Always a Woman,” and “She's Got a Way.” On the other hand, Joel can also thank her for being the first major heartbreak in his life – with plenty more down the road. How did this magical musician get his start in love? It came after his start in music, at the very least.
Meeting His First Wife
Billy Joel and his first wife, Elizabeth Weber, met in 1970 through Joel's bandmate Jon Small. Weber and Small had been married previously and even had a son together. According to Joel, she was intelligent and charming, not scared to speak her mind. Not a typical American girl.
Their relationship began as an affair, but Small found out quickly. Elizabeth then disappeared from both of their lives and stayed gone for weeks. After that, Billy Joel not only contemplated ending his life – but actually tried to go through with it.
He Considered Himself a Failure
Being twenty-one is never easy, but Billy Joel had it worse than most of us. He was broke, loveless, and had few people he could depend on. His band was going nowhere, and he was crashing at his mother's house.
Once Elizabeth ran off, he consumed large quantities of Nembutal pills and immediately called Small to apologize for everything. Small, scared out of his mind, rushed to Joel's house in Hicksville, New York.