Thank you very much to Matthias Zehren for the
styled macho. Good looking, wild, but
nevertheless smart. Appearing mostly in tight
A rebel.... That's Billy Idol.
star of the late 70's and 80's is born on 30
November, 1955 in Stanmore/Middlesex-England.
His civil name is Willem Michael Albert Broad.
At the age of 3, he and his family emigrate to
Long Island/New York-USA, where they are not
kept for long though. Back in England, he soon
attends university. Displeasuring his father,
his references show the note 'idle'. This and
his desire to change the world - to be an idol -
let him finally come to his pseudonym 'Billy
tendency towards music makes him soon form the
group 'The Bromley Project', together with Susan
Dallion, known later on as 'Siouxsie And The
Banshees'. However, that doesn't last long, and
so he founds 'Chelsea', together with Tony James
('Sigue Sigue Sputnik'), involving Mick Jones
('The Clash'), John Towe and Brian James
('Damned'). Billy plays the guitar and Gene
October is singer. But also this constellation
lasts for just a short while. So him and Tony
form 'Generation X', with which he can celebrate
first successes. For the first time Billy sings
and Bob 'Deerwood' Andrews takes over the
albums and 7 singles later the band breaks
1981 he emigrates to Greenwich Village/New York,
an artist district in the United States, with
the intention to start a solo career. Soon he
meets KISS manager Bill Aucoin, who makes him
familiar with the producer Keith Forsey.
Together with Steve Stevens playing the guitar,
he just successes in North America initially.
But he knows how to use the press and so he
draws the attention of the world to him by
insolent acts, excesses and self glorifying
videos, marking the 'idol lip'. The 'rebel yell'
succeeds and soon he becomes a superstar with
hits like 'Rebel yell', 'Sweet sixteen', 'White
wedding' and 'Flesh for fantasy'. With some
delay, his records 'Billy Idol' (1982), 'Rebel
Yell' (1983), 'Vital Idol' (1985) and 'Whiplash
Smile' (1986) storm the european charts also.
'Whiplash Smile' it gets a little more quiet
around Billy. He and his spouse Perri Lister
become parents of William Wolf Broad. His career
though seems to roll downhill. Stevens separates
from Billy Idol and forms 'Steve Stevens Atomic
Playboys'. Billy reappears on a benefit event
1989 beside Elton John, Phil Collins and Pattie
LaBelle for the rock opera 'Tommy'. A cruel fate
approaches him as he gets involved in an
accident with his motor cycle in February 1990,
almost killing him. Suffering two broken ribs
and a smashed knee he is admitted to a clinic in
Los Angeles and almost not able to play an
assured part in Oliver Stone's film about 'The
Doors'. However, Billy returns on stage - at
first with a walking stick - presenting his new
album 'Charmed Life' (1990). Together with Tom
Jones he sings in the night club 'Spice' in Los
Angeles. A world tour follows, starting in
Montreal/Canada in August. For this tour he
signed up the rising group 'Faith No More', who
actually succeeds more than he does. In Norway a
stone is thrown at Billy in November, injuring
his left eye and therefore he has to cancel four
concerts in Europe. The 35 year old doesn't seem
to regain the success of once at all, and so it
gets calmer again.
a roomer about a reunion of Billy and Generation
X is spread. That's not true though. Billy now
draws attention with court proceedings for
brawls and is punished with fines and suspended
sentences. He beats up a female fan, for
instance, after a night on the drink.
it becomes quiet again. 1993 he's found
unconcious behind the steering wheel of his car.
He had taken an overdose of
psychopharmaceuticals and cocaine, but attempts
to resuscitate him are successful. In the
hospital he is filed as 'Alex Scott' in order to
distract the press. In the same year he presents
his album 'Cyberpunk' which, however, cannot
resume old successes. In other words, it flops.
A minor part in the movie 'The Wedding Singer'
in 2001, there's a new 'Best of'. Basically it
includes nothing really new, except for some
remixes and the song 'Don't you', which brought
the Simple Minds into the charts years ago.
Billy Idol rejected the song at that time.
Idol and and his long-time
guitar player Steve Stevens took part in a ‘VH1
Storytellers’ show on April 19th, 2001. The
reunited duo set out to play a series of
acoustic/storytellers shows prior to recording
the Vh1 special. The acoustic tour was a big
success, and Idol eventually started adding new
material into the show. The TV show was
broadcast sometime later. A DVD and CD were
‘Devil’s Playground’ was released.. It was Billy
Idol's first new studio album in nearly twelve
years. It was after a concert at the Hammerstein
Ballroom that Sanctuary Records approached Idol
about making new music in his older style. Idol
claims that seeing people like
making hit records again gave him hope that
there was life after death.
The album was recorded with the entire band
playing in one room, rather than each person
recording their part separately. Idol's drummer,
Brian Tichy, collaborated with Idol and Steve
Stevens and co-wrote some of the tracks on the
album. The first single and video to be released
was "Scream." Idol had been playing a batch of
new songs in concert that never made the final
release of the album. These songs include
"Monster", "Stranger in My Skin", "Walk the
Line", "In the Killbox", "Beautiful Life" and
"Big World" (written for his daughter).
In November 2006, Idol
album called “Billy Idol: Happy Holidays”. The
album was intended to be sold through Idol's
website, but a distribution deal was set up
A limited number of albums were autographed and
sold through Billy's website.
On July 28th, 2006 Idol and Stevens played
Chicago planning to record and release a live
concert DVD. The show was shot in HD and was
shown on the HD network. The DVD was scheduled
to be released, but to this day remains shelved.
In a February 2008 interview, Steve Stevens
revealed that Idol is to release a new Greatest
Hits album called 'Idolize Yourself' in the
coming months with two new tracks. The new
tracks are called 'John Wayne' and 'New Future
Weapon'. The new release will, for the first
time, feature all of Idol's videos on DVD. This
will be followed by a tour and a brand new album
slated for release later in the year.
mentioned album will be released on 24 June with
"deluxe-edition" plus DVD including the videos.
tour with some open-air-gigs will run through
USA, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, England und