Billy Joel Drummer Liberty DeVitto on His New Memoir, Making Peace with His Old Boss

He always seemed like a really good guy, so I'm very happy to hear he seems to be in a better place these days.

The finished book (which arrives on July 17th) still traces DeVitto’s whole life, focusing heavily on his three-decade run with Billy Joel, but nearly any hint of anger about the circumstances of his departure is absent. And when he was nearly done writing it, he reached out to Joel via email, and the two old friends agreed to meet up for breakfast and finally make peace. Joel even agreed to write the foreword for the book, something that would have been unimaginable just a couple of years ago, when they communicated solely through lawyers and angry comments back and forth in the press.

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Joel was a prick. I enjoy his music, Glass Houses is one of my all-time faves. But he was a complete jerk to his band.
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Silver Member
Thanks for posting that link.

Liberty's interviews have always been no-nonsense and colorful, candid in that wonderful NY way- but humble.
And no question his drumming on Joel's albums were a huge part of the songs' creations and success. Just the right feel to keep everything grooving, rockin', ballads, latin--whatever style...

I just looked on Amazon to buy a Kindle copy of the upcoming book but it only shows a hard copy. Maybe they'll release a Kindle/e-book version soon?


Gold Member
As a side note, Ive been seeing a few more Billy Joel tunes drumless on youtube. Moving out is a blast to play along to. Captain Jack too.


Gold Member
I’m a huge Liberty fan. He had a unique, signature style. Those timeless songs wouldn’t be what they are without such creative drumming. Lib gave so much thought in composing parts that would elevate that great music to another level. Oh, and could he beat the snot out of a cymbal?


Platinum Member
I'll have to check out the book.

I'm not a huge fan, but I'm always interested in behind the scenes stuff of the music business.


"Uncle Larry"
The greater the swing of the pendulum to the right, the greater the swing to the left

Music is so great. The music business is not great at all

It all evens out


Gold Member
Liberty always seemed less money beat style and more busy flashy, but done just right, to me. I dig that, love strong money beat, but I really love someone who can be a bit more expressive, yet instead of that expression taking me out of the music and making me focus on the drums, his style, to me, embellished the music. A superb combination in my mind. Im not a huge Billy fan but I have always had a special place in my drumming heart for Liberty.

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
There are two sides to every story . Liberty mentioned in an interview that some things were said to Billy about Liberty that were discovered to be untrue when he discussed it with Liberty when they reconciled .

It seemed like he treated the other band members like crap too.


Gold Member
I'll have to check out the book.

I'm not a huge fan, but I'm always interested in behind the scenes stuff of the music business.
If so, check out Runnin’ With The Devil by Noel Monk. There’s stories in there that make the music biz look worse than the ‘rona pandemic.


And Liberty’s snare drum always sounded fantastic. A nice, big, beefy sound that mixes well with the music.


Platinum Member
I've been on a big Billy Joel kick lately, and I'm always impressed by how busy Liberty was able to be in essentially a singer songwriter situation. In spite of the fact it was always Billy Joel (and not even something like "The Billy Joel Band") he seemed to let them all do their thing pretty freely.