Billy Joel’s lyrics helped Izzy draw on his talents

WHEN New York-born Izzy Pludwinski was teaching chemistry in Israel, a Billy Joel song came into his mind.

He told me: “I was in the teachers’ room. I saw the teachers there. They were in their 50s. They just looked not happy. I thought, this is going to be me in 25 years.

“There was this song by Billy Joel, called James. Billy is talking to his friend James, who did everything the right way and had an education.

“He asked him: ‘James, do you like your life? Can you find release? Will you ever change? When will you write your masterpiece? Do what’s good for you or you’re no good for anybody, James’.”

Izzy - who has just published the coffee-table book, The Beauty of the Hebrew Letter: From Sacred Scrolls to Graffiti (Profile Editions, £35) - said: “It just dawned on me that chemistry was not going to help me write my masterpiece.

“It was not where my passions lay.”

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