Episode 57: Dancing with Myself (Billy Idol)

In this episode, Leah walks us through the very wild life of Billy Idol- from his beginnings in the London punk scene, to being the face of MTV to the present day. 

Show Notes and Images

Episode Transcription

I will be having a new computer. Not that you all need to know this, but I’m chronically Nick cause I’m pissed. Um, I will hopefully have a new computer on Saturday, which means really nothing new for you guys. Except I won’t be wanting you to throw this computer across because Adobe’s new. Fucked up my audition.

So know your audition it’s broken. So anyway, that is no pertinent to this podcast other than my own sanity, um, which is important. It is important. Do I have the dream for you? Leah it’s jelly bean part two. I’m not very good. Like Leah thinking of great cold open questions, but damn do my dreams come up with good cold open stories.

So this is the dream I’m in a mall it’s kind of modeled after the mall called the Galleria in Middletown, New York, where I grew up. Um, but anyway, I’m in this. And there is Brian May and Brian and Brian May is looking for people who have taken photography, that he can build a collection of concert photos.

Don’t know why my dreams doing this, let it be known. But I was like, oh shit, it’s Brian May. And of course, you know, my head is like, I got to get them on the podcast. Like, that’s all I’m thinking about. And then I showed them some of the strengths photos I took and we’re just talking. And I said, I know you probably need to talk to the manager and I’m really sorry about this, but I would really, really love to have you audit you a rock, you.

And he said, well, you know, I do have talked to manager, but I said, let me do this. And he starts writing a note to us and he gives it to me and I’m just like so elated and I’m driving home and I’m like, I cannot wait to tell Leah that Brian May. Uh, like this is the highlight of our career of our podcast career.

And then I read it and it’s signed by a guy, a guy named Wayne Robertson. And I’m like, who the fuck is weighing Robert Albertson. And it turns out, hits me the dream. Wait, those I’m Bryan May was a guy who looks like Brian May wait. He didn’t have an English accent. That’s important. And those a dream that’s, that’s a great dream and a great opening.

It’s not jelly bean level, but it’s not, it’d be level, but it’s still a nice, funny story that my brain decided to make up for me one night. And with that said, I am Beth and I’m Leah, and this is, she will rock you.

And I didn’t pull up the reviews because we’re on an iPad right now. This is a 2015. And you’re thinking do cooler things. Mine. Yeah. Stupid. That’s a third hand. 2015 Mac book right there. I don’t under, she’s a work horse. I’m also thinking about getting an iPad, just for procreate to where I’ve had to draw up in meetings.

Procreate life-changing is this the apple pen? Yeah. Nice. Anyway, let me choose a review and I’m going to choose at random. And my finger landed on supernatural keys. And it says total fun from start to finish. What more could you ask for in a podcast it’s fun and informative. I learned more about the clash than I thought I knew all while laughing at these two the entire time.

Great fun. Loved it. I love, I got a positive review out of the clash because let me tell you not all of them were positive. I also believe. Leah is both informative and fun and I’m just here. So take what you will, but interesting that you chose a clash review because we’re staying in that scene today. We are cause to hundred punks.

Bailey fucking idol. Did we tell a story about a hundred punks? We talked about, we did go listen to our bonus episode. We talked about Billy idol to hear the hunter punk story. I did not include it. Um, but also welcome to another edition of how the fuck is this man still alive? My favorite series, this is our favorite.

Subsidiaries sub series. That’s not an official series, but now it is. I think I always end up doing, because I’d choose the chaos. Yes. I mean, you do own a black app, so this is true. Feel like chaos and sushi is chaos. Um, so Billy idol was actually born William Michael Albert broad,

November 30th, 1955 in Stanmore, Middlesex, England, coincidentally, Middlesex. England is where my Nana was born, but she moved to the U S around that time. So curse my great-grandparents for not staying. But that’s beside the point. I didn’t know that. Yeah. I didn’t know. Your great grandparents came from across the fifties.

They wrote on a ship over here, just a second generation. American third. I thought you were American. Did you ever hear that? Do you know that video? I thought the video, literally this morning getting in the shower, I’m a lesbian. I thought you were American.

Um, but yeah, so my Nana came over here when she was like in third grade. That’s cool. Um, but the point I put them in there, it was, I guess, that everyone wanted to get the hell out of Middlesex because in 1958, when Billy was two, his parents moved to Patchogue a goo patch, something in New York, it’s outside the city.

It’s not relevant. Patrick P a T C H O G. Patrick. I don’t know. Apparently it’s a Staten island suburb. I don’t know. Um, Billy remembers his time in the U S uh, his like early years in the U S as introducing him to his early musical influences, but also from the fact that his family was obsessed with the presidential election of JFK running against Nixon, he literally dedicated an entire chapter in his autobiography.

To talking about this cause his family’s Catholic. I don’t know why I find this hilarious. I love it. Clearly. It was important enough for me to include yes. Um, his mother actually bought records of JFK’s campaign speeches. Gosh, they’re like next level obsessed they are, but they can’t even vote the election.

Cause they’re not American citizens. They’re just obsessive bystanders. That’s that’s very unfortunate for them. So he grew up listening to records of JFK’s campaign speeches, but also records of Broadway musicals, such as my fair lady, the music man and Camelot and upbringing, man, uh, actually Richard Burton as king Arthur in Camelot influenced his speak, singing style and his music.

No way. Yes. I feel like also his family. We’re fucking done with brand American, like all the American things. Yes but no, because after they lived here for four years, they moved back. They were like there first America, America. And then they’re like, go back, go back, go back. Uh, his dad moved around a lot.

Uh, he’s a salesman. So he basically went to whatever industry was selling. He moved back. I think he got a job selling tools. Of some kind he started, I don’t know, they moved back to the UK. Um, and he made me react UK. He’s like 8, 9, 7, 8, 9. Um, while he lived in the us, he got mad and found out for having a British accent.

So he lost the accent and he has a Yankee accent moves back to the UK. He’s not quite British, not quite American. Doesn’t really fit. It gets bullied. Um, I forgot to write this down, but he, around this time he has, he’s had really bad eyesight, his whole life. He gets glasses and the people, the kids in his class start calling him squinty.

I’d get. Which is the most British insult I’ve ever heard, you know, you know, uh, you know, uh, shout out to the UK because you take your insults to a whole other level that I can’t even like fathom as an American. My current favorite insult that I’m British friends use is cock Womble. It’s like, you know, the country is Shakespeare.

I expect nothing less than the greatest insults. What do we have? Dr. Seuss we’d know we have

um, so yeah, so he feels very much like a fish out of water doesn’t belong, not British, not American. He ends up relearning his British accent to fit in better, but still not quite a hundred percent. British enough, he’s got this like American influxion. Um, and none of this has helped by the British school system because Billy idol is really fucking smart.

He’s always been extremely interested in history. Like as a kid in the U S he would do civil war reenactments with his little soldiers and like, um, he’s always just been super smart. When he goes back to England, they stick him in remedial classes with the slow learners and that’s an insult. He took it as an insult.

He said he probably had undiagnosed add. That’s why they put them in there, but he hated it. And so he lost all motivation to try in school. Sure. Um, but he’s always studied religion and history and his own, like, those are his two passions. That’s cool. Listening to him. Talk about in his book. Um, he’s, he’s so smart.

Um, There’s, there’s nothing wrong with musicians who talk about music a hundred percent of the time, but Billy’s not one of those guys, especially in his book. Um, and it’s, it’s really cool. That was really cool. I liked that once the well-rounded. You know, someone had talks to musical all the times that well-rounded, it’s just like you have other subjects sell so fascinating.

It’s very clear that he has other interests besides music. Yeah. What’s wrong with that? That being said as a teen, as a young middle schooler, U S equivalent, he does become very quickly obsessed with music. Um, so his parents enroll him in lesson. Violin lessons, parents it’s like given Jerry Garcia and accordion.

Exactly. That’s exactly. Billy hated the violin. He’s like, I want to play the damn guitar, get me guitar lessons. And his parents were like, Nope, violin. He was so scared that someone was going to find out in his class that he would walk an extra mile route to take the long way to his violin lessons. So he wouldn’t run into any of his classmates.

Um, and on top of that, he would refuse to practice as a parents eventually had to give in and let him stop because they weren’t going to pay for lessons if he wasn’t practicing. And he ended up saving up his pocket money to buy a cheap five pound guitar. Because even though his parents dropped a load of money on a violin, they refused to buy him a guitar that he actually wanted to play.

Why? Because they wanted him to play. Hmm, cause they’re a good Catholic family that doesn’t believe in this JFK believing Catholic family. We play violin and Schubert in this household and Camelot. And that’s it. Yeah. Um, sorry. That’s a lane that deleted for me. So then this all gets like the fire of him.

Loving music gets fueled by the Beatles popping out of the scene. Apparently, as we’ve talked about before being in England at this time is hella depressing because there’s nothing to do and everything sucks and everything’s gray and all the factors are closing down, um, to quote Billy in this VH1 behind the music special, it was going to take something extraordinary to drag you out of this depressed world, a world where really old people ran everything.

Fuck them. Fuck old.

Fuck all people, the silly bastards too. They were so down on everything. And all we wanted to do was enjoy everything. Billy idol. I love like hearing that man speak things. He just says, whether you agree with them or not. I just like, say it again, Billy. Fuck. All the people are cold, actual quote. Um, all right, go on.

By the age of 10, he was already living the rockstar life. He got kicked out of the boy Scouts for making alpha. You know that that’s a true punk right there, which made his mother cry ways to make your mom cry by guitar check, make out with a girl check. We’ve got a boy Scouts check. Um, he, he did say he felt bad about it, but like the damage was done.

He was not, he said, I learned all I needed to learn. I was good. Not going back at age 14, the family moves yet again, but this time they move closer to London, to a suburb called Bromley. And this is where Billy meets kids in the London punk scene. Here it goes. He hangs out with them. He learns the scene.

Um, in October of 1975, he goes to the university of Sussex to pursue an English degree. Like I said, man’s house Mart and he lives on campus, but he leaves. One year, because he learns about a little band called the sex pistols ha and becomes a mega fan. And follows them to like every gig that they do, this is not surprised me.

Cause there was like a bunch of people. Well, we talked about this on the clash episode, like the sex pistols Tham base is intense. Yes. Like pretty much he would wake up in the morning. Go to liver tools or his dad’s tool sales business in this pickup truck, then he’d go pick up all his friends in the pickup truck and they drive to wherever the sex pistols are playing that night.

Like wherever it is over the entire country, drive back the same night. And then he’d go back to work. The next morning, like homeboy literally was not sleeping. Drugs were involved. Well, of course, random thing. His dad’s business was called liver tools. No, he would deliver tools. Oh, I heard the tools where the company was called Liverpool.

Like Liverpool. Well, wait a second. No, that would be great. We need to discuss that. No, for us to know what it was called, it’s going to say liver tools. Um, so like you said, they spend, he spends a lot of time following sex pistols, but also hanging out with the guys in the clash, just all the bands that are up and coming in the scene at the time.

He also spent a lot of time in gay and lesbian bars studying the fashion of the scene. Good for him and just hanging out with cool people. I love it. And he’s trying to figure out what he want to do with his life. Like he knew he wanted to do music, but nothing was like clicking yet. Like he didn’t have a band, he didn’t want to be so low.

It was just, just, he’s just vibing at this point. Um, and he starts to hang out with, in these clubs. He meets some really cool people and became very, very close with Susie Sue and was like this close to being in the band. She’s like she has to be in the band she’s and he’s like, no, like I’m not. Ready for that yet.

Like, I’m going to go find my own band and she’s like, okay, I’m listening to him. Talk in his book about this time period in England actually made me love Cruella the movie that much more because it is like dead on for the fashion sense. The pop-up like Rangers in the park. Um, there were. This is my next point in the outline is so he follows the sex pistols to their first ever show outside of England, which is in Paris.

Um, and he and his friends like get in the, in that pick tool, pickup truck, and they drive across the channel. They get there and the French can be a little snobby when it comes to fashion. And they show up to this outfit, this shirt, the show, like all the French girls wearing, like t-shirts and jeans, basically like they’re just chilling.

Billy and his friends, Susie and the gang show up in a homemade distressed, bleach, torn t-shirts bondage ware, and leather pants and ridiculed by the French. Oh, I bet the French held nothing back. No, but they were like, you know what? He’s like, it was a fucking good time and I don’t fucking care. Those are probably direct quotes.

I love him so much. He cracks me up. So by late 1976, he finally decides. Let’s join a band. Let’s get this going. So he joins a band called Chelsea as the guitarist. So at the time the band Chelsea was fronted by a guy named gene October. Terrible name, um, who starts styling. He still going by bully and broad at this point, he’s like, you need to ditch your glasses.

Cause he has terrible ISI get contact lenses. You need to cut your hair because he had the long punk hair going. He’s like, you need to go for a 1950s rocker look. Hmm. And so Billy goes to that for a while. He’s not. Vibing with Chelsea. And there’s also not a lot of bondage where in 1950s, now that we’re aware of, so that doesn’t quite vibe and Billy ends up leaving Chelsea with Tony, James.

Who at who was the band’s bassist. So the basis and the guitarist leave Chelsea to start their own band. They co-found a band, they named generation X and they decided that Billy has to be the front man, because he’s too charismatic to be stuck behind the guitar. He asked me before. And this is when he starts going by the name, Billy idol.

And they chose this name because you remember he got stuck in the remedial classes in school and he got a report one time in chemistry that his teacher wrote in all caps. William is very idle. I D L E. And so he was gonna go buy a Billy idol and he’s like, no, no, no. It has to be, I have to be a rock idle.

So we changed IDEO. He flipped the script. He flipped the script. But honestly, I don’t blame him for being idle in chemistry class because you could not pay me to take a chemistry class again, but that’s beside the point. Uh, also around this time, his signature bleach blonde hair started. So a friend of his was going to die.

His hair, black and blue. You know, um, combo, but she didn’t bring the right stuff. They had to stop after the bleach step. And they were going to be like, he went to rehearsal the next day and was going to go meet up with her to finish the job. But he walks into rehearsal. The band was so shocked by his bleached hair that they got angry about it.

And him being the punk that he was was like, fuck it, I’m leaving it that way.

That it’s been that way for 50 years now. What a grudge, what a grub, many different hairstyles throughout the years, but has always been bullied platinum blonde. I love so much, which I respect. Oh. So generation X takes off fairly quickly. They actually end up being one of the first punk bands to ever appear on top of the pops.

It’s cool for that. Um, and generation X is, is different from the clash and the pistols, the clash, and the pistols are like, we’re not like Elvis or the bugles of the rolling stones. Like we’re a different breed, but generation X was at least honest to like, yeah, we listened to those guys. We’re not too cool.

We’re just here to bring you guys some music, like we’re not going to be pretentious dicks about it. Um, and they also didn’t try to take a political stance, like one way or the other, their stance was kind of just like growing up. Fucking sucks. Everything sucks. We’re all at happy. Yeah. So let’s just commiserate together.

And that probably worked out in the long run better. It did because like we talked about in the class. They all were like, yeah, we’re for anarchy. What kind of snarky? I don’t know. Let’s just use old Nazi terms and just, you know, just try to turn them into a new meeting and that does not work that does not age well.

So he made the right choice focused on more of like the collective experience of growing up in post-war England, everything just being sad all the time. Um, but when, as they get a little bit later into their career, they get inspired by things. Love and heartbreak, which the clash wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

Yeah. But because of this, they’re one of the only punk bands, like ever to have a female audience. Oh. It also didn’t hurt that Billy was hot. Yeah. But, um, let’s be honest. I can’t tell you what any of the clash look like. They all look the same, but Billy attracted a female audience. Which works with their favor because a, they had no trouble picking up women when they want to date women.

Sure. But also at boosted their music sales, because that’s half the audience right there, the clashes and selling records to women, no, Billy selling records to women or generation X is, um, also story that I meant to put in here and forgot. It was a thing. This was really gross, especially considering COVID times.

It was a thing in the punk scene, in the seventies to where the audience would spit onto the lead singer as like an anarchy punk thing. It started with like the scene from, uh, from my big fat Greek wedding out of the grandmother takes the sauna, goes to. Like, that’s a very Greek thing. It’s it started because I forget which brand it was, it wasn’t the clash and the sex pistols was something else.

The guy was like, literally clearing his throat. You don’t have some singers about to spit on the stage. Well, he did that, but it kind of like went off the stage onto the front row. Oh. And they wouldn’t. So the fact and just started Hocking live he’s at the front singer. Oh. Then it became a thing. And like why fucking unsanitary, but Billy tells a story of one night, like bloody tuberculosis spit ends up and they were like, guys, we got to stop this.

Like, please don’t spit on stage anymore. He’s like, I’ve never been so happy that when we went to the U S like, no one did that. Cause it never was a thing over here. And I’m like, we got something right for once. Yeah. I’m not, I’m not personally. Tuberculosis, but still, still, still, yeah. I’m not a sanitary scene.

No, they, in 1979 they have a single king rocker. It actually goes up to the UK top 20, mostly things to the female audience boosting the sales fan girls once again. Yeah. It’s like we actually have influencing power who knew around this time, Billy actually meets his. Girlfriend for the next, where we at at least 10 years.

So she’s important to this story. Hey, is Perry Lister. And at the time she was working as a dancer in the troop called hot gossip. I don’t like the name of the troop, but whatever. And the two hit it off sex, drugs, and rock and roll style. But he, despite having a very typical rock and roll relationship, he’s head over heels in love with her like, oh, I think you still love.

Spoiler things don’t ultimately work out. Like they’re not still together, but they’re together for a very long time. And she stays with him through some very rough patches in his life. Um, so as you starting this relationship with Perry generation X is starting to crumble. They start fighting. They’re like, well, we’ll fix this.

Let’s hire new management. So they hire a bill Aqua. Former manager of kiss. We’ve talked about him before and he’s tasked with reinventing the band. They hire a new producer for the next album, with the goal of making it more danceable. They’ve kind of accepted that punk is over by this point. This were hit getting rid of break in the eighties, like punk scenes dead.

Um, they want to make a dance track. Billy writes dancing with myself. Producer produces it. And it is a flop. It does not do well at all. Um, at the time they’re on Chrysalis records, Chrysalis drops generation X, but decides to keep Billy on as a solo artist because they see potential in him. Yeah. And the song potentially, if it’s released correctly, So what generation X gone and out of the picture, Billy and Perry moved to New York city in 1981 with bill Aucoin and Billy falls head over heels in love with New York city because the punk scene is still.

Uh, alive there he’s they spent he and Perry spend every single night. It clubs like CBGBs, Max’s Kansas city. They party for a solid six months before they figure out what the hell he’s going to do for the next step in his career. Um, he’s feeling kind of hopeless. He’s just, you know, sex, drugs, and rock and roll on it every night at a different club in New York city gets a little old after.

So he’s yeah, he gets, he gets sold, but then one night he wanders into a club and they’re playing a 20 minute version of dancing with myself and the club is going fucking over this song. And this gives him the confidence boost that he needs in his life. Yes. Um, and so he’s like, well, we got it. We gotta like capitalize on this.

If New York city’s loving it. And so he starts to assemble. Uh, band and management gets him in contact with Steve Stevens, our boys, Steve Stephens, um, and Steve plays very much a glam rock guitar style, which balances really well with Billy’s like attitude. Um, great descriptor. And so they get basis, fill, fight, and drummer, Greg Gerson, and they start to work on Billy’s solo record.

Don’t stop in 1981, which includes a rerecord of dancing with myself and a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells song. Mony Mony. Now you may be wondering why the hell did Billy idol cover this song on his debut self-titled record. Well it’s because he has always felt a special connection with this song because when he lost his virginity, it was playing on the radio in the distance.

That’s funny. You’re well, Uh, he releases his debut album. Self-titled Billy idol in July, 1982. Um, and then Chrysalis records has the tough task of selling America on a 27 year old British wild child, because he’s still partying like nonstop this point, but they have a new tool in their toolbox MTV MTV there, uh, at this time there’s a second British invasion happening.

Mostly through MTV. And this is 1982, like MTV is new, new, new, and Billy’s apartment was like two blocks away from MTV studios. And so somehow manage it, worked out that he could just like pop down there and just fill in whenever I needed like guest host on something or he would do that, like smart, he would do these like filler commercials where it’s like, I’m Billy idol and you will watching MTV.

And he had two per smart. He exploded on antsy wild. So literally like, cause I always imagine like, you know, and here comes Billy idol on TV and it was like, no, like he literally was just hosting. Yeah. He’s just, just there all the time. Cause it’s two blocks from his apartment. And so. Amazing someone at Chrysalis saw an opportunity and I’m sure this is just me speculating.

I’m sure they were having trouble filling spots, especially very early on because it was such a new thing and no one knew what it was going to do to the industry, but he got in there right at the face time and actually pretty much became the face of MTV for a while. Right. Uh, his videos for white wedding and dancing with myself became like constantly in the rotation.

He releases his second LP rebel yell in 1983, because this is the eighties. We’re not taking any downtime between records. What are you talking about? And this really like solidified Billy as a superstar in the U S this includes, this album includes rebel yell eyes without a face flesh for fantasy, um, eyes without a face peaks at number four in the us rebel yell reaches number six, uh, when they started touring this album.

They were barely selling out small clubs in New York city. But when they finished touring this album, they were playing sold out stadiums. Wow. Which is crazy. That is crazy. Um, and like I mentioned, when they were in the UK, Billy is an attractive man. The ladies love him, which pisses Perry off. Cause there’ll be at dinner trying to enjoy a nice quiet meal as a couple.

Right. And girls have wash run over to their table, crowd around and ask Billy to sign their boobs. You know, nothing really gets a great dinner, then someone coming up, can you, I don’t really care if it’s a left or right. Um, so this doesn’t hurt their relationship because bill is a Dan and Billy Perry is a dancer and a model like she just knows, this is how the scene is.

But it doesn’t help the relationship. Either management, when they signed him to be solo, wanted him to be the bad boy of rock and roll. So he goes, and he delivers, he is doing drugs. He’s drinking, he’s partying. He almost dies once or twice or three times. Geez. Depending how much interview you watch and what he says.

Didn’t. And then at this point, bill a coin decides let’s make a movie about Billy’s life. No, I mean, yes but no. So they spend a year, they, they move everyone to Hollywood, Perry and Billy pack up and move out there. Um, they spend a year in Hollywood trying to make this happen, but to quote the VH1 documentary, Billy spent more time doing lines and reading them.

And so. Billy fires bill, because he felt like this movie was distracting him for making music, which it probably was. Um, and so, you know, it is what it is. The movie doesn’t happen, but they decide to stay in Hollywood. They wanted a break. They’d been partying for like six years straight in New York city.

And Perry was like, I just wanted to be awake in the daytime. And so they, they stay out there.

In 1985, he goes into the studio to work on his third album, which would eventually be released in 1986. They call it whiplash smile. Uh, this album is slated to come out two years after rebel yell and bill he’s really worried that his fans will, will have forgotten about him and his hiatus, which is so funny nowadays, because two years is like the normal album cycle.

But whatever the lead singer or obsolete single, but the single from that album to be a lover go ends up going top 10. So he had no reason to be afraid that they forgot about him and actually earned him a Grammy nomination go from for best rock vocal. However, a few weeks before his Grammy appearance, he was arrested on drug charges with a model friend of his.

That’s not Perry. Ooh. Her name is grace Hattersley. Um, and needless to say, this did not make Perry happy because all the headlines are reporting. Billy idol arrested with girlfriend and she’s like, she’s not as fucking girlfriend. Yeah. So she pulls the ultimate power move. Parried us. Yeah. And holds a press conference just to tell the press I’m Billy Idol’s girlfriend.

I have been for seven years. That’s it. That’s the press conference. Damn good for her set the record straight, which I respect, uh, they stay together though. Like she doesn’t dump him. Yeah. At this point, though, Steve does dump him and leaves the band to go start with solo. Steven, Steve Stevens. He comes back.

Um, but he leaves to go start a solo career. And Billy and Perry do what any logical couple does to stay together. They have a baby. So I don’t know if I have this out of order or if I wrote, I don’t know, but I wrote here that they move to LA, but I think they’re already living in LA, but to celebrate the move to LA, Billy buys himself a Harley because he decided.

Take a break from getting high on drugs and wants to just get high on life. So by the Heartland, I appreciate that. You know, you gotta find something instead of. Also this Harley is relevant to the story overall, the pin that for later. Um, so in June, 1988, their son William Wolf broad is born. Hmm. That’s Willem like Willem Defoe, not Willem, like William, Brad will.

I’m like the drag queen. Yes. Gotcha. Um, but when this baby is a month old, Billy fucking. Yet again, what do you do? So he tells Perry Perry’s laying out by the pool, you know, Hollywood stuff. Yeah. And he tells Perry, he’s going to go inside and call the boys to go for a ride on the Harley because he wants to just go blow off some steam.

So it goes in the baby’s room and makes the call. Well, turns out he forgets the baby monitors run in the baby room and calls another girl. And Perry, here’s the whole thing hot you? Yes. Yes. Like first off she just had a baby for you. Yes. You fucking on grave. I’ve turned on him. Fucking griefful piece of shit.

And then you’re going to go talk to another girl. Yes. No. So she walks out and Perry is just, like he said, she’s, she’s fuming, she’s steaming. And she’s like, oh babe, you’re going to go meet her at whatever place they’re going to meet. And he’s like, how the fuck did you hear all that? And she’s holding the baby monitor and he’s like, shit.

So, uh, Perry leaves with the baby, hopefully. So I don’t blame her. They do eventually make up and she moves back in. And she says in the documentary, she always knew there were other women and she didn’t really mind as long as she didn’t it wasn’t happening in her house in front of her face. So prevent this from happening again.

Billy buys a second house for his affairs. I mean, that’s one way to do it. Maybe you could just not have a fucking affair to each their own. Yeah. True. She seemed fine with it. As long as she was. I wasn’t in front of her face, which I never enough. Um, so he starts to record his fourth album and things get bad again, you know, as if they weren’t already kind of bad.

Cause he, he kind of fucked up. So they recorded this album and they started out with a rule we’re only going to party on Friday nights. Well, then that quickly becomes, we’re going to party on Thursday and Friday night. That’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday night. And then soon it’s a 24 7 party in the studio and no one’s making any music.

Yeah. And Perry, this, this is the final straw for Perry. She decides this is not a great environment to raise a child in which it’s probably not fair. Yeah. And so she makes the decision to leave Billy at this point and moves out on her own. Doesn’t do wonders through Billy’s mental state, but you know, he survives on February 6th, 1990 we’re in Hollywood.

They finally wrap this fourth album. It took like two years to record because they wouldn’t stop fucking doing drugs. Um, the album is called charm. And on the last day of recording, like they’re putting the finishing touches on. Everyone, stays at the studio at a party, but Billy was like, I’m done partying.

I’m going to go home and go to sleep. He gets home. He starts taking sleeping pills. They don’t put them to sleep. Well, fuck it. I’m gonna go back to the studio to hear the finished album because he’s getting antsy and wants to start like tweaking with it. So he gets on his motorbike and drives the studio on the way there.

He runs a stop sign and is hit dead on by a car cheese, um, side note. He’s not wearing a helmet during this interaction because at the time in California, it was not the law and he liked to feel the wind in it. Holy cow about the, when he, how did he survive? That I don’t actually fucking know. I don’t think anyone fucking knows.

He says, I just remember hearing a bang. If you hear the bang, you’re still alive. If you don’t hear the bang, you’re dead. He heard the bang. Uh, he remembers, this is how his book actually opens up with this incident. He remembered. He tried to get up and he couldn’t get up. And someone came over and was like, Hey, are you okay?

And he just goes, obviously I’m fucking not his legs broken in three places. He has to be rushed to the hospital. They put a steel rod in it. Um, it takes like months to fully heal. He has to have, I think it ended up being seven surgeries, she, or the point where they thought that he was going to lose his leg, but he’d never walk again.

And. He came close to dying because he lost so much blood. Like it was a really fucking bad accident and he very easily could have died, which is why I think he might be the winner of how the fuck is this man not dead. Um,

this things were, were going decently well for him career rise before this incident, uh, right before the. He had gotten cast by Oliver stone in his film about the doors. He like had a major role. Um, I think he was actually maybe supposed to play Jim Morrison. I don’t know exactly what role, but obviously when your leg is broken in three places, you can’t be the lead in a movie for a very long time.

And so they ended up switching him out and he just played Jim Morrison’s drinking pal in the movie. So he was like in one scene and he was actually James Cameron’s first choice for the villain in Terminator two judgment day. But they had to recast that entirely because he couldn’t be in that movie.

But while injured, he did end up filming the video for cradle of love, which they did by propping him up and only filming up his torso up. But when you watch the video, you can’t tell at all, which is totally cool as cool, but somehow miraculously, he recovered enough to go on tour that summer, like, wow. He was doing his jumping off the box moves, but right.

It also makes it more impressive now. Watching him move on stage, knowing he has a steel rod in his leg. That is pretty crazy. I think he’s 65 now. Yeah. Um, so this tour takes him to Bangkok, Thailand, where he gets himself in trouble. Again, he holds himself up in a penthouse for three weeks, partying. The documentary just said $140,000 in damages.

I don’t know if that extra damages or how much the sweet, I imagine that’s not how much the suite cost for three weeks, but yeah, I don’t know what that means. And there was no context in the docs. Tell me. $140,000 in damages later, he refuses to give up the suite to a visiting foreign dignitary. What is he just going to keep he’s holding hostage?

Yes. So the Thai army has to show up and tie him down to a stretcher and escort him out of the country.

Never never in the history of this podcast. Have we heard a story about a celebrity taking a hotel room hostage and having an army have to bring them up? Billy? I had a list the first I’m actually shocked. We have not heard this yet. That means you honestly that’s that’s a Motley crew shit. They would have called an army on Ozzy Osborne, but surprisingly Billy idol, Billy idol.

Uh, so that’s sorry, it’s not your good night Marius. That’s in 1990. Okay. Nothing major happens for three years. He think he lays relatively low. I mean, you kind of have to, when you’re escorted out of a country, uh, in 1993, he releases his album called cyber. Which is extremely experimental. And I love to keep in mind, this is 1993.

This album was recorded in a home studio using a Macintosh computer. Yes. He used studio vision and pro tools to record the whole album. I love it took 10 months to make, um, it did pretty well in the UK and Europe, but did not do well in the U S that’s a problem. Um, if you look at the videos and like images from this time period, Very hard into the cyberpunk image and it looks like something out of Terminator.

He’s got like this like one eye piece and one of the videos, um, that’s all there is to say about cyber punk, cyberpunk 2077 cyberpunk, 1993 in 1994. He almost dies yet again, which is not funny, but it is kind of funny at this point. Um, he actually passes out outside of an LA nightclub. Uh, due to an overdose of the drug GHB, which at the time was legal and was very popular with weightlifters because it supposedly helped you recover.

Um, but Billy said it basically puts you in a, in a three hour coma. Like you did not know what was happening to you. It was, it was super deep. It’s not legal anymore, obviously, but at the time it was, um, but after this incident, when he wakes up in the hospital, My children will never forgive me if I die of a drug overdose at this time, Willem is six.

So like he would definitely remember if his dad died of a drug overdose and, um, I’ve have a 2014 interview. He is not taking any hard drugs since. But he does smoke marijuana and does drink, but you know, good for him. That’s that’s awesome. In 1998, Billy made a cameo appearance as himself in the wedding singer with Adam Sandler.

So there’s our Adam Sanders connection. Last week. Um, and that movie features white wedding on that soundtrack. Adam, Sandler’s randomly in the VH1 special, but he’s at the beginning and they don’t give you any context as to why Adam Sandler. I finally finished it because it takes me forever to watch them because I take notes and then they get to the wedding singer part and they interview Adam Sandler about it.

And he’s like, yeah, someone thought it’d be a good idea to have Billy idol who was like one of my childhood idols in this movie where we just make fun of my lovely. And he’s like, it was cool. I loved it. They played guitar together and their trailers tape. That’s cool. Which is cute. Obviously, this movie was huge.

Um, and for the first time, in a very long time, Billy was in the headlines for something other than almost dying character development. And 2000, he and Steve Stevens reunited for their first tour together in 13 years, Billy actually brought Willem on this tour with him. And Steve talks about how every time they would go to a hotel, Billy would have to ask for a roll-out bed for Willem.

And Steve was like, damn. This is different than the last time we toured together when they’re like doing lines of Coke every single night and not sleeping. And now they’re like, we gotta put the child to bed. Oh, good. He’s already, he’s learning. He’s learning. Uh, in, I forgot I put this in here. So in 2002 at the national rugby league, grand final in Sydney, Billy entered the playing field for the halftime show and he enters on a hovercraft.

The intro of white wedding, he literally gets two words out and the entire stadium goes into a power failure and he couldn’t finish the work because he had to have a hoverboard. I don’t know if that’s what caused it or what, but I just thought it was hilarious. It was funny in 2018, Billy became a us citizen at a ceremony in LA.

He does still retain his British citizenship. So he has a dual citizenship. ’cause, you know, I will mention Miley whenever she appears in Atlanta. In addition, Billy idol is featured as a guest vocalist on the song night crawling from her 2020 album plastic hearts, and Miley does an amazing cover. A rebel yell.

Look it up. I’ll link it in the show notes because it is. Chef’s kiss. Um, and I know we talked about Willem a lot, but Billy actually has a daughter from another relationship. Her name is Bonnie blue and in 2020, Bonnie gave birth to his first grandchild. Whose name is poppy? Rebel, rebel yell. Oh, that’s so cute.

He is the most adorable grandpa and poster on his Instagram a lot. And I need to show you this photo. Billy idol. Granddaughter. That’s so cute. Not that one. This one? No, I think YouTube link. I don’t want the YouTube link. Can I make that bigger? That picture? Oh my gosh. So cute. She loves her. Oh, that’s adorable that he even makes her tiny, like baby size, Billy idol, Merck.

That’s cute. I’m glad he, he grew up yes. Was able to see his grandchildren grow up. Oh, stop looking at grandpa Billy. He’s so happy, but that’s Billy idol. He almost died several times. Yeah. I feel like I’m going to die several times a day.

thank you for listening. You can leave us a review on apple podcasts or good pots. Special. Thanks to death. Upon for intro risk, you can visit our website at, she will rock you.com. You will find her social, our show. Those are contact information. And our merch. Are you thinking about getting gifts for the family this year?

May I interest you in a, she will rock you beer mug for grandma may interest you in a pullover sweater for your five-year-old may interest you in just a sticker for your mom. You can find it. Uh, she will rock you.com. Other than that, don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Don’t ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Don’t take body lifting drugs, whether they’re legal or not just don’t don’t do any of those.

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