Blond with short, standing hair. Defiant look with a provocative grin on his mouth. Black jacket, some other chain, and a motorcycle nearby. It may be the description of a poster hanging from Billy Idol in a room of a young man in the mid-’80s.
William Michael Albert Broad -his real name- started from a very young age, in full English punk explosion, with the group Generation X. After three albums, Billy decided to walk away and take on a solo project.
He went to London, where he met the guitarist Steve Stevens, which would become his sound ally, and published his album called simply Billy Idol (1982). “Dancing with Myself” and “White Wedding”, two of the production outages became instantly successful. The birth of a new idol. With his image, the punk boy fed fantasies and brought new musical airs.
“Eyes Without a Face”, a rude boy ballad was part of his next album Rebel Yell (1983). His next steps were not good at all. Whiplash Smile (1986), Charmed Life (1990), the latter with the hit “Cradle of Love” they kept him as one of the representatives of his generation.
“Catch my fall”
“If I trip, catch my fall,” Billy Idol sang in “Catch My Fall”, another of the cuts of Rebel Yell Some kind of omen? On February 6, 1990, the rocker got up animated, confident to say somehow. Everything went as planned. His disk Charmed Life It was stomping. But something changed.
The young singer went out on the road with his motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson enraged and roaring. He didn’t put on his helmet, but he didn’t care. I wanted adrenaline, like the one I felt on stage. The motorcycle hit a car and everything went black. “Leg bone came out of my pants and tore the muscle apart. There was blood everywhere. I passed out from the strong pain”He recalled a few years ago. Doctors saved his life after a seven-hour surgery. Everything changed.
Reborn in music
After seven years of silence, the musician’s new EP will be released on September 17, under the name of The Roadside (On the side of the road). These songs were conceived, recorded and mixed almost entirely in the shadow of the pandemic.
The first cut “Bitter button”Presents one of the artist’s most introspective and confessional lyrics, in which he confronts death, rebirth and his personal growth thirty-one years after that accident. “I’m going to ride this motorcycle to the limit of the city. Up to the bridge with my eyes closed. And spit at the stars and scream in the dark. There is nothing I can do to change it now. But if I cut myself, baby, you can read all my scars”, He describes in a part of the song.
“I think everyone felt more thoughtful during the pandemic. So, it seemed quite logical and natural to me write something about my accident, “he explained in a statement. And he added: “That motorcycle crash was catharsis, the moment to wake up. A little bit of me stayed on that route. But in the end it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing; It was a wake-up call. Perhaps on that road I left behind the irreverent and youthful Billy and opened the door for a more caring father and a more sensitive musician ”.
At 65, Billy Idol remains active and plans a series of concerts for the remainder of the year, in the Capitol Theatre of New York and the Cosmopolitan from Las Vegas, as well as an appearance at a festival in Asbury Park. To warm up, the veteran punk appeared as a guest on Miley Cyrus’ set at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, where they performed their classic “White Wedding”.
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Billy Idol: the return of the punk rebel and the bitter memory of when he broke his bones