Welcome to first review in the Billy Idol Series. I am going to do album reviews for all albums by the 80’s icon, Billy Idol. We will start with his stint in the band Generation X from 1978 all the way up to his 2018 release ‘Vital Idol: Revitalized’ (assuming that is the latest release by the time I get to it).
I was going to wait until I got the debut album on vinyl to start the series, but I am not the most patient person and since I have the next 7 or so on vinyl already, I will go ahead and start now. So, without further adieu, here is the first of many reviews…
Back in 1976 at the tender age of 21, guitarist William Broad joined the band Chelsea after answering an ad for musicians. Also answering that add were bass player Tony James and drummer John Towe. They would join up with singer John O’Hara to form the band. The band would tour and do mostly covers, but William and Tony became fast friends and felt they could do better so they grabbed John Towe and all left the band.
They would be the founding members of the band that would become known as Generation X. Now, where did the name come from. It wasn’t based on the fact that people born in this time were known as Gen Xers. The name actually came from a book William’s mom was reading called Generation X which was book on popular youth culture from 1965 by British journalists Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett.
This new band needed a guitarists so they hired 17 year old guitarist Bob “Derwood” Andrews from a band called Paradox. That wasn’t the only change. They needed a guitarist because William decided to drop the guitar and become the lead singer.
Continue reading “Generation X – ‘Generation X’ – Album Review (The Billy Idol Series)”
The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York. What an amazing city. There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could. I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!
Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out. The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.
We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.
Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure”
I have been a fan of Billy Idol since the day I heard (and saw) “White Wedding” on MTV back in the very early years of the station. The music and his image with that Elvis curling of his lip had me from day one. So, when Amazon had the book for the Kindle for $2.99 I had to get it and finally sat down and read it. The book came out in October 2014 by Simon & Schuster and obviously tells the story of his life. It is an autobiography which is why I wanted to really read it. It is straight from the man himself not someone taking stories from various sources who might have even been there.
The book covers his life from a child when they moved to the U.S. and then back to the U.K. all the way up to his last album (and my favorite Billy Idol album) released in 2014, ‘Kings & Queens of the Underground’. I am actually playing it as I am writing and I will do a review of that one someday. The book covers all the bands, the sex, the drugs, the albums, the sex, the drugs, the ups & downs, the sex, the drugs and so much more. Did I mention it covers the sex and the drugs?
He freely talks about his sexual escapades and what rock & roll biography doesn’t which is why that is really the least interesting thing about the book. The drugs are typical for a rock & roll biography as well, but for this part, it is important in his life story. It was interesting to hear how messed up he was during the recording of the albums, the tours and his life in general. At times, his commentary about being high painted this very vivid image and he takes you on this stranger journey momentarily and you realize just how fucked up he really was. It is amazing he is still alive.
Continue reading “Billy Idol – “Dancing With Myself” – Book Review”