Q: Thanks to Google, I was able to call up the infamous cover of the 1970 album you made with your heavy metal duo, Atilla. Why were you dressed as a barbarian and surrounded by hunks of raw meat?A: I knew that was going to haunt me all my life. I hated doing the photo session. I thought it was a horrible idea. But I was like 19 or 20, and you don’t know—the guys from the record company are going, “No, this is a great idea,” and the art director’s saying “Oh, it’s going to be fantastic.” I said, “This is stupid and I feel like an idiot.” I was right. Go with your gut.

Interview with Billy Joel

Q: Is it true that after the failure of Attila you tried to kill yourself by drinking a bottle of furniture polish?
A: That’s true. Yeah, I was suicidal. I was 21. It’s a tough age. Things hit you really hard. A relationship with a girl had ended and I was devastated, and then it didn’t work out with the recording we did, and I just figured the world didn’t need another failed musician. You take yourself so seriously—you’ve got your head so far up your ass you can’t see straight.