BILLY IDOL BRINGS AN UNBRIDLED ENERGY TO HIS HOUSE OF BLUES RESIDENCY
John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Weekly (Photo: John Salangsang/Invision/AP):
Even during a phone conversation, you feel Billy Idol is pumping that leather-clad right fist. More, more, more.
He’s not to be stopped, the 60-year-old rock star who unleashed a string of hits in the early and mid-1980s that still stand today. Idol effectively name-checks a few of those classics later in the conversation to promote his upcoming House of Blues residency. He sweeps onto the Strip this week with his production, titled Billy Idol: Forever, and it’s reportedly doing brisk sales. He’s back in May, and this week even more shows were added for August, September and October. Some highlights of our chat:
I saw you in 1982 in Chico, California, at Acker Gymnasium at Chico State University. The next time I saw you was in 2010 at the Pearl at the Palms, 28 years later, and you’d lost none of your energy. How have you been able to keep up your exuberance throughout your career?
I think it has a lot to do with the music, and the intent behind the music. Coming from punk rock, there is a
“Billy Idol was among British punk’s first wave, beginning with Generation X in the late seventies, and going on to become one of the first punk acts to succeed in the video medium in the eighties. To many, he defined the look, style, and snarl of punk, and he’s not afraid to claim the mantle. He narrates his memoir in his unmistakable Cockney accent, which befits the more lurid tales of excess as well asSee More›
WITH A ‘REBEL YELL,’ BILLY IDOL FIST-PUMPS HIS WAY INTO LAS VEGAS
By Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas Magazine, March 11, 2016:
The Billy Idol: Forever series of shows at Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues isn’t just the latest rock star residency in Vegas. It’s also the final chapter of Billy Idol’s most ambitious tour since his ’80s heyday, with guitarist Steve Stevens on board playing Sundance Kid to his Butch Cassidy. The prince of ’80s post-punk has been on the road since the October 2014 release of King & Queens of the Underground, his audio companion to autobiography Dancing with Myself, and judging from a high-profile appearance in February’s iHeart80s Party in the Forum in L.A., the adulation received on tour is only making him stronger.
The fact that Idol soldiers on at all—let alone while sporting a six-pack that enables him to perform shirtless at age 60—testifies to his status as a true rock ’n’ roll survivor. Idol was part of the original pack of Sex Pistols followers and one of many fans that started a band. Generation X outlived the initial blast of British punk, with spiky-haired Idol going against the grain by demonstratingSee More›
David Von Bader, Broward/Palm Beach New Times, Sept 18, 2015:
Among the copious guitar heroes the 1980s gave us, Steve Stevens — best-known as Billy Idol’s capo and lead collaborator — remains in a class of his own. By Idol’s own admission, Stevens’ eclectic fretboard pyrotechnics and deft sense of arrangement were the emulsifying agents that helped make Idol’s
Robert Cavuoto, Guitar International, June 21 2015:
Not many guitar players can flawlessly cross as many musical boundaries as Steve Stevens has done in his career. His prolific and innovative playing has changed the face of music, and together with Billy Idol, they helped revolutionizing a new genre of music.
Whether you consider their brand of music; New Wave, dance rock, or rock n’ roll they rode the crest to become MTV staples and musical icons.
Guitar players around the globe scratched their heads trying to duplicate Steve’s unique sound, asking “Was it a guitar, synth, keyboard or all of the above?”
Being a self-proclaimed techno head, Steve has emerged as a quintessential force, capable of magically and successfully marrying it all altogether without sacrificing the main objective – making great music!
A true “orchestrator” as he likes to say.
With his extraordinary stage charisma, leather outfits, long spikey hair, and amazing chops he caught the attention of hard rock & metal fans.
It was apparent that Steve was not content with conquering just one genre of music and took his unique playing technique and versatility to new heights, playing with such musical legends as Michael Jackson, Vince Neil, Robert Palmer and Joni Mitchell.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with a Steve to talk aboutSee More›
Billy Idol, Joan Jett and more will perform at the 11th Annual MusiCares Map Fund benefit concert at the Best Buy Theater in New York City next month. Proceeds from the event will go toward MusiCares’ programs aimed at helping musicians struggling with addiction.
The event will take place on May 28th and will honor Pete Townshend as well as The Who’s longtime manager/music and film producer Bill Curbishley. Bruce Springsteen will present Townshend with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund and its addiction recovery programs. Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, will present Curbishley with the MusiCares From the Heart Award by for his unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization.
The 11th Annual MusiCares Map Fund benefit will feature performances from Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones and more, who will be announcedSee More›
April 18, 2015 Saba Hamedy–LA Times
Billy Idol sang his way onto the stage (literally) to talk about his memoir at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday.
“I’m ready ready ready to discuss rock ‘n’ roll,” Idol sang as he strutted onto the L.A. Times stage at USC. “Hopefully I don’t really need an introduction.”
It’s true, he really didn’t need an intro: Crowds of book festival attendees arrived at the stage area early to save seats. Others packed the surrounding grassy area, standing to get a better view of the 1980s British rocker. “Bookchella,” indeed.
The lively musician, who still sports his iconic spiked bleached hair look, pumped up attendees withSee More›
Vicki Anderson for Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand, 20 March 2015
Spiky peroxide-blonde- haired Billy Idol repeats the word “masturbatory” three times with a sneer.
The leather-clad rocker who led an MTV-fuelled generation is telling me about a disco in Tokyo, Japan, he visited in the late 1970s, when dance clubs were still in the passionate embrace of disco’s Saturday Night Fever.
“We went to this dance club and these kids were all dressed up like John Travolta and dancing with themselves,” Idol says chattily.
“They weren’t dancing together, they were dancing to their own reflections. It was like a masturbatory kind of thing to do. If I haven’t got a partner I can fixate on myself, dance with myself.”
The experience led to the hit 80s hit song Dancing with Myself, which is also the title of his recently released autobiography. He challenged himself to write the book, he says, as his way of evoking something of a punk rock ethic.
“In the days of punk rock we believed in trying to do things yourself. I wondered if I couldSee More›
Review: Billy Idol – March 24, 2015, Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Harry Williams, thedwarf.com.au
“A lengthy atmospheric instrumental intro and then suddenly he [Billy Idol] runs out of the darkness and onto one of three risers and there he is, bouncing around. The spritely punk is back, as youthful, buffed and boisterous as ever. Resplendent in trademark leathers, with his attitude, ego, sneer and trademark yelps at the ready…See More›
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens performed a rare acoustic club gig at The Turf Club on January 19 in St. Paul, MN in front of 350 lucky fans to celebrate 89.3FM The Current’s 10th Anniversary. Watch the video of Billy’s interview with The Current’s Mary Lucia below along with live clips from the intimate performance.See More›
From the living room of his house, high up in the Hollywood Hills, Billy Idol gazes out across the Los Angeles Basin, remembering when the city was on fire.
“Even in the daytime, you could see the smoke,” he says, describing his bird’s-eye view of the Rodney King riots in April 1992. “And ash was raining out of the sky.”
At the time of the riots, Idol was one of the biggest stars in rock. But privately, his life had been unraveling for some time. In 1989, he separated from his girlfriend of 10 years, dancer-choreographer Perri Lister, a split that sent him plunging deeper into drug abuse. A gruesome motorcycle accident in the heart of Hollywood the following year nearly cost him his leg.
After limping through an international tour with a cane, he was back at home, struggling to stay sober as he toiled on the most ambitious album of his career, Cyberpunk, with neither of his most trusted collaborators, guitarist Steve Stevens and producer Keith Forsey, to guide him.
In the fires of the riots, Idol saw a parallel to his own life. “I’d been polluting myself with drugs. So it wasn’t so different for me to start seeing the world as polluting itself.”
It would take years, but Idol finally detoxed. Now he stands as an improbable survivor not only of drug abuse and motorcycle accidents butSee More›
Billy Idol’s new single Can’t Break Me Down is USA Today’s “Song of the Week”!
“The bleach-haired rocker sticks to his classic style on the first single from Kings & Queens of the Underground, due Oct. 21. With its punkish drive, sneering vocals and roaring Steve Stevens guitar, Can’t Break Me Down could have made aSee More›