Billy Idol

Claim to Fame: Spiky blond hair cut + dopey crooked sneer + leather goods & a bunch of great hits such as "Rebel Yell", "White Wedding" and "Eyes without a Face".

Where is he now?

Idol released Cyberpunk in 1993 which combined writings of William Gibson with techno beats. Actual cyberpunks were not amused. Besides, the whole "cyberpunk" image is so passe anyway, and the album was pretty much a flop. Billy had a cameo appearance in 1998's The Wedding Singer, and in 2001 released his 'Greatest Hits' album. Wait a second - isn't that a rehash of the other greatest hits album he released in the late '80s ? Probably. Recently he's made appearances on Letterman, Leno and VH1. He's still actively in showbiz, touring and performing around North America and in the UK.

Here is an account from a fan of Idol on one of his recent live performances : "Even though Billy's like 46 or 92 or something, if you squint your eyes a little and stand at the very back of the bar and drink about eight beers ... why, you'd swear he hasn't aged a day! . No, to be fair, Billy hasn't lost it. He opened the show with Cradle of Love, followed it with Dancing With Myself and then hammed it up during Flesh For Fantasy, and dang if I didn't not only remember the words to all of those songs, but I genuinely enjoyed hearing them again. It helped that Billy seemed to be having a blast the entire time, with that big, silly, sneering grin on his face as he strutted around the stage. Though whether it was because he was so utterly amused at his own comeback success or simply working on his third major life-threatening drug overdose, I'm not sure. I don't know, maybe it's because Billy Idol went from being totally cool to totally invisible to making this sudden comeback so many years later that it feels so weirdly nostalgic to see him live and hear the songs again. But the biggest karmic shocker came the morning after the concert, when I got an e-mail from one of my friends saying our long-delayed high school reunion was finally going to become a reality. In a couple of months I'll be seeing people that I haven't talked to since the last time I listened to an entire set of Billy Idol songs. How weird, yet strangely appropriate, is that? Here's hoping they play Mony Mony at the reunion dance. As long as the teachers say it's OK".

Source: The Edmonton Sun (Steve Riley),

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