Sunday, April 06, 2008

Billy Idol

4/6/2008

Today's Friday Flashback is late! Brought to you by sheer sloth, procrastination, laziness, otiosity and last but not least IDOL.


William Michael Albert Broad was born November 30, 1955 in Middlesex England. As a toddler (age 2 is the rumor), the Broads moved the family to Long Island, New York to pursue a life in America. Evidently the American Dream didn't solidify and the family would return to England two years later. One of my sources said "America made a big impression on Billy; he loved the big cars and rock music" to which I say "How do you know?" Come on now. He was only 4... what do YOU remember from age 4? Anyway the young William Broad came back to England with a sister.

Young Billy Broad was mischievous and non-committal in his studies. One teacher wrote "Billy is Idle" on one of his papers. The remark was meant to be criticism I'm sure, but not to Billy Broad - Idle was a reference he would not forget.

Let's think about it for a minute. Billy Broad? What were his parents thinking? I'd change my name too.

Back to the flashback. In 1975, Billy entered a low budget-we'll accept anyone-type college called Orpington. He was idle you know so it's not like he'd be going to Cambridge or Oxford or any of those other hoity-toity-let’s-go-drink-wine-and-go-rowing schools. After a year of some seriousness at Orpington, Billy was accepted to Sussex University. It was here that he would study philosophy and schlep along with the Sex Pistols fan club.

Philosophy? Sex Pistols? Fan Club? If that isn't a recipe for rock star, I don't know what is!

After Billy Broad became Billy Idol, he formed a band called Chelsea and later renamed it Generation X. In 1977, Idol and his Generation Xers - a punk band at the end of the punk movement - were offered a recording contract. After three of their albums tanked, the band split and Idol moved to New York (dreaming of those fast cars and rock antics of his toddlerdom).

In New York, Idol decided to go solo and hooked up with [soon-to-become] legendary guitarist Steve Stevens. The new Billy Idol band hired Kiss manager Bill Aucoin at the dawn of the new wave explosion and with a special thanks to MTV, Billy Idol the rock star was born.

Speaking of MTV, remember Martha Quinn? She had the coolest haircut.

  • White Wedding
  • Eyes Without a Face
  • Rebel Yell
  • Dancing With Myself
  • Mony Mony


  • And if you're up for something slightly new and oh so fresh... check out his 2005 album Devil's Playground housing the hit Body Snatcher. Sounds uplifting, doesn't it? Oh well.

    2 comments:

    The McMillans said...

    I did not know a thing about him? So good to hear a flashback, love Billy.

    We should have blasted White wedding amongst the Capulet diversion in Lake Powell. What were we thinking.

    Lois said...

    Love Billy Idol -- the spiky white hair, the sneer, all of it. Too fun to read all about him! Thanks!