Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Calling’ (Live Bootleg) – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

As I mentioned in the post last week on the Billy Idol bootleg “Rebel Waltz”, A few weeks back, Lunchbox records posted on Facebook that they got in a bunch of bootlegs from Duran Duran and Billy Idol.  I will be honest, I don’t care about the Duran Duran bootlegs, but the Billy Idol peaked my interest.  It was around 6:30pm on a Saturday night and I mentioned to my kids we should go to Lunchbox, but we didn’t go.  We did go the next day on Sunday.  We left a little after 12pm and arrived just before 1pm and they were closed (Duh Duh Duh – dramatic music insert).

We forgot to check if they would be open and with the virus going around, I wasn’t sure now if they would open at all.  Lo and behold, they were going to open and that was going to be at 1pm which was in a couple minutes.  We were the first ones in and those Billy Idol bootlegs were still there.  Apparently, there are not of ton of crazies out there buying Billy Idol bootlegs…Who knew!!!


Unlike the last bootleg, this one was a little more advanced in its packaging.  This time we actually get a picture on the album jacket on both the front and the back as opposed to a print out on a sheet of paper stuffed inside.  I couldn’t find much information on the show as to which show it was at the Roxy in L.A.  I know based on the track list it was in 1982 after the release of his self-titled debut album.  There were 3 shows in L.A. at the Roxy.  The first two were in August on the 11th and the 12th.  The next was on November 13th.  I couldn’t find a setlist at all so now way to match.  But I am guessing one of these shows for sure.

Now discogs has this listed on their site with all the same info.  The price is on the low end $15 and high end of $60. And ebay has it for $75.  I got mine for $15 and it is a 2LP set.  Super excited at that price.  Now mine does have a major flaw, but it doesn’t really impact the playing. On Side One, there is a large mark on the vinyl that goes through the first song.  There is a slight noise when playing and the the needle goes over it, but honestly, it doesn’t take away from the listening enjoyment. So, I am fine with it.  That is the only thing wrong with it.

Now, on the back cover, there is a little story about Billy Idol dropping his pants in New York…how this relates to a live show in L.A.,  I am not sure.  Here it is…

IMG_1953 (1)

Okay, now it is time to talk about the mistakes on the set list on the back cover.  The most obvious is on Side Three.  They call the song “White Wedding”, “With Wedding”…ooohhh, so close.  The next big issue is with Side Two and Side Four.  We will start with Side Four because why I wouldn’t I.  Side Four has the third and final song as “Your Generation” and it is not.  It is “King Rocker” AND…it is “Kiss Me Deadly” which puts “Kiss Me Deadly” on here twice.  On Side Two, it has “Kiss of the Devil” as the final song and it is actually “Your Generation” so they swapped them out.  Now, I don’t actually know the song “Kiss of the Devil”, I think they meant “Kiss Me Deadly because as I just said that song is on here twice.  Maybe they thought it was a different song.


The sound quality is not bad.  It is kind of quiet at times, but I think it is a soundboard recording and was used for some radio broadcast because at the end of of “Mony, Mony” you hear a guy saying Billy’s name and it sounded like a radio broadcaster.  I think “Rebel Waltz” has better sound, but this has some cool songs on it that that one does not.  The coolest thing is that only one song repeats between the two records, “White Wedding”.  The rest are either Generation X songs or songs from his debut album.  I have some of these early Generation X songs on another bootleg, but to have them being performed as Billy Idol solo artist is pretty cool.

The great thing about this being ’82 is that Billy is just getting started as solo artist.  He and Steve Steven are really just getting to know each other and the magic hasn’t quite hit yet and Steve doesn’t stand out as much as he does later on.  That is probably because at this point, it is Billy and not the two of them as a package deal.  When it comes to bootlegs, this isn’t bad and was well worth the money, hell only $15 is pretty cheap.  This is probably a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars recording.  Not as great as the other one I picked up since the sound isn’t quite up to snuff as it is missing some of the punch of that one, but still cool nonetheless.  Now I want bootlegs from every album tour…I think I have a problem.

Now, if you want to check out the full reviews and the entire Billy Idol Series, click on any and all of the links below…

  1. Generation X – ‘Generation X’
  2. Generation X – ‘Valley of the Dolls’
  3. Gen X – ‘Kiss Me Deadly’
  4. Generation X – ‘The BBC Transcription Disc Series No. 126 1978’ (Bootleg)
  5. Billy Idol – Don’t Stop E.P.
  6. Billy Idol – Billy Idol
  7. Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
  8. Billy Idol – Whiplash Smile
  9. Billy Idol – To Be A Lover – Single Review
  10. Billy Idol – Vital Idol
  11. Billy Idol – Charmed Life
  12. Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  13. Billy Idol – “Speed” (song from the Speed Soundtrack)
  14. Generation X – K.M.D. Sweet Revenge
  15. Billy Idol – VH1 Storytellers (Live)
  16. Billy Idol – Devil’s Playground
  17. Billy Idol – Happy Holidays
  18. Billy Idol – The Very Best of Billy Idol: Idolize Yourself
  19. Billy Idol – Kings & Queens of the Underground
  20. Billy Idol – BFI Live (#RSD 2019)
  21. Billy Idol – Revitalized
  22. Generation X – Your Generation (7″ Record Store Day Release)
  23. Generation X – Generation X Deluxe Edition
  24. Billy Idol – Rebel Waltz: Live (Bootleg)
  25. Billy Idol – Rebel Calling: Live (Bootleg)
  26. Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

26 thoughts on “Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Calling’ (Live Bootleg) – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)

  1. A cool find for a great price John. Who sells bootlegs for 15 bucks???
    It’s neat to discover a recording like this as you wrote about how Stevens and Idol were figuring it out. Good add for the collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Napster wasn’t just for bootlegs!! My Idol collection has grown significantly. Not much I am missing studio album wise. There are couple never on vinyl that I hope he releases someday and there is an alt cover of ‘Billy Idol’ album I want to get and maybe some singles, but that is it really 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bootlegs always seem like a hit or miss. I have a few and some sound professional and others clearly some guy with a tape recorder!n lol. Sounds (literally) like you got a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of all the Idol boots I have come across through the decades, this is by far the best one in terms of song-availability. The most common “Rebel Waltz” (alternately released under different names) has the best quality sound for any pre-Whiplash boots imo, but this “Rebel Calling” release contains songs that were not made available on any other bootleg…. it’s a real feast for hardcore fans. In my opinion, the quality is pretty darn good; it hovers somewhere between a poor soundboard to a fantastic audience rig. Considering how a lot of bootlegs of that era sounded (often downright unlistenable!), this one really is a treat. Good score for $15… I am certain I paid at least twice that in 1984-dollars!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are the only 2 bootlegs I have seen so glad to know I got something good with Rebel Calling. It seemed special with that track listing which is what attracted me to it. I hope I come across more down the road. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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