The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame has officially opened its long-anticipated exhibit—‘Billy Joel: My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey.’ This exhibit is the first of its kind, as it is dedicated exclusively to a LIMEHOF inductee.
The attraction opened to the public on November 24th and had a strong opening weekend with eager visitors who flocked to visit the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, located at 97 Main Street in Stony Brook, NY.
“It was a thrill to see a long line of eager fans at our opening,” said LIMEHOF Chairman Ernie Canadeo. “Over 500 fans of all ages, many from out of state, enjoyed the exhibit this past weekend, from families with young children to middle age and older adults.
The smiles on everyone’s faces after they experienced the exhibit and the Hall of Fame was priceless. Billy Joel truly touches people of all ages, and this exhibit is testament to his legacy as Long Island’s favorite entertainer.”
This exclusive exhibit showcases over 50 years of Billy Joel’s most cherished items, which include rare memorabilia, behind-the-scenes video footage, dozens of awards, rare audio and video recordings, vintage instruments, and historic photos—many of which were donated by Billy Joel himself and have never before been displayed for public viewing.
Billy Joel fans from near and far arrived to see the exhibit, which appeals to families and visitors of all ages.
‘Billy Joel: My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey’ was created by renowned designer and LIMEHOF board member Kevin O’Callaghan, who designed the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame and this current exhibit to great acclaim.
“It has been a thrill and an honor to work with Billy in creating this extraordinary testament to his life and music,” said Kevin, who also serves as the creative director at LIMEHOF. “It is one of the highlights of my long career, and I’m sure visitors will be thrilled with the result.”
First in line were longtime Billy Joel fans, Joe and Jenn Mammina from Wading River.
“Really well done,” said Jenn. “There’s a lot of stuff. It’s laid out great. You can get right up to it. We really enjoyed it.”
Her husband, Joe, said he particularly enjoyed the interactive elements of the exhibit.
“In each of the albums’ sections—starting from the early years to the later years—you put the headset on, and you can hear snippets of some of the songs, and it brought back memories from back in that time frame in our lives,” he said.
Scott Wood, from North Carolina, visited New York to see Billy Joel perform at Madison Square Garden and stayed on to check out the opening of the exhibit.
“It was fantastic,” Wood said afterward. “I saw in a news article recently that when Billy came through, he was pretty touched and said: ‘This is a lot more personal than I thought.’ And while I get it, there’s a huge gap between his personal and my personal. This was personal for all of his fans who came here, too. We’re reliving a lot of the memories he gave us over the years, and the things we were doing when those albums came out.”
As further proof that this event is an experience that genuinely appeals to all ages, Dan Bod and his family came from East Northport to see the exhibit. His eight-year-old son, Jared, said that he himself was thinking about learning to play the piano and was amazed by everything that was on display.
“My favorite thing that I got to see was the screen with the spinning piano. I got to see lots of the concerts on the screen,” Jared said.
“The layout and all the items are just fantastic,” said Dan. “I loved to see The Hassles and the music kit and the drum kit and the organ—that’s fantastic. For the average fan, it’s definitely a learning experience and a walk down music history lane.”
Marni Alexis Thomas, from Massachusetts, arrived at the exhibit where she showed off her license plate that reads ‘JOELFN’ after having seen him perform at Madison Square Garden. “I said: ‘I’ve got to be there the first day that it opens.’ He’s like the greatest show on Earth. Billy Joel rocks my world and soothes my soul,” Thomas said. Upon walking into the exhibit and seeing so many pictures of him, she joked: “This is like walking into my bedroom as a teenager.”
This exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where families and visitors from all walks of life may experience Billy Joel’s life-spanning career—from his roots in Hicksville/Levittown through his albums, tours, inspirations, and personal experiences.
The exhibit is being supported and sponsored by Catholic Health, The Joel Foundation, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel, The Haugland Group, M&T Bank, The EGC Group, D’Addario and Lessing’s Hospitality.
LIMEHOF is open Wed-Sun 11 am-6 pm.
Tickets are available for sale at www.TheBillyJoelExhibit.com or may be purchased in person at LIMEHOF. This is a timed entry exhibit, so tickets will be sold by time block availability.
There is also the option to purchase VIP ’any time‘ tickets—which may be presented at any time for the duration of the exhibit. For more information about LIMEHOF and ‘Billy Joel: My Life, A Piano Man’s Journey,’ visit www.limehof.org.