Billy Idol - vocals; Steve Stevens - guitar, vocals; Tommy Price - drums; Steve Webster - bass; Jody Dozier - keyboards
This show was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour Radio Concert Series in 1984, when Billy Idol was at the peak of his popularity. He had become a poster child for MTV, and his Elvis-inspired "snarled" upper lip and spiked blonde hair had become a popular pop culture image all over the American landscape.
Although this set only features about half of the songs played during the entire show, it's almost a greatest hits collection. Included are air-tight versions of "Rebel Yell," "Dancing With Myself," "Hot In The City," "Mony Mony" (his rocked-out cover of an old Tommy James & the Shondells song), an extended version of "White Wedding," as well as a blistering eight-minute version of "Flesh for Fantasy."
Billy Idol was born William Michael Albert Broad on November 30, 1955, in Middlesex, England to a middleclass family. He lived in New York briefly as a child, but spent most of his formative years in his native England. While attending Sussex University in the mid-1970s, he became attracted to the expanding London punk scene that was being ignited by The Sex Pistols at the time. Soon after, he changed his name to Billy Idol and became a guitarist for a new punk band called Chelsea. The band included Mick Jones (soon to form The Clash) and Brian James (who formed The Damned) as members, and though short-lived, the experience taught Idol that he should focus on singing instead of playing guitar. In 1978, he launched Generation X with drummer Mark Laff, bassist Tony James, and guitarist Bob Andrews. They cut three albums for Chrysalis Records, and eventually became known as Billy Idol and Gen X. After the third album, Kiss Me Deadly, flopped, the band dissolved and Idol moved to Manhattan. He quickly connected with Kiss band manager Bill Aucoin who, in turn, introduced him to fledgling New York guitarist named Steve Stevens.
Idol and Stevens went straight into the studio and cut new versions of recent Generation X material and a cover of "Mony Mony." These recordings were enough to revive Idol's deal with Chrysalis - this time as a solo artist. Idol, and his powerful backup band led by guitarist Stevens would remain a powerful musical force through the late 1980s. He laid low during the 1990s, trying to clean himself up from years of drugs and alcohol, and Stevens formed his metal act, the Atomic Playboys.
After Billy Idol and his music were featured prominently in the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy, The Wedding Singer, Idol gradually worked his way back to forefront of the music scene. He continues to record and tour to this day.