Last night I was sitting and reading (Water for Elephants) in my easy chair with the TV on low in the background when out of the corner of my eye I see a flash of blond and hear an unmistakable voice. The show was PBS’s Soundstage and it was featuring Billy Idol live from his Super Overdrive concert filmed in Chicago in June of 2005. Book immediately was set down and I sat mesmerized for an hour… In 1977, (I was 8!) Billy was the frontman for the British punk band Generation X then he later (in 1981) moved to New York City to work on a solo album that would soon endear him to millions of American fans. The height of Idol’s popularity centered around 1984’s Rebel Yell album to which anyone watching the budding new Music Television channel would have found him instantly recognizable.
I can remember thinking back in the mid-80’s that Billy Idol was going to become the next Elvis and to this day, I’m not exactly sure why his popularity began to wane. Perhaps his music was too intimately connected to the 80’s, when everything was Madonna, Michael Jackson and endless streams of one hit wonders. Idol’s last original album 2005’s Devil’s Playground and until today, I wasn’t even aware of its existence- I will have to pop over to iTunes to check it out. After watching the live concert on Soundstage, I immediately looked on his official site to see if he was on tour but alas, it doesn’t seem as though Billy hits the road for more than the occasional show… Total bummer ’cause if he came round, I’d be sure to go and see him!
For now – please enjoy the following video of “Eyes Without a Face” from 2005’s Rock AM festival in Germany.