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Before They Were Rock Stars


Before They Were Rock Stars is a VH1 TV show about, as the title says, rockstars' journeys to fame. This episode featured Billy Idol, Alice Cooper, Moby and others. I believe the scenes of Billy were taken from the Behind The Music episode. I typed up everything he and his parents said, as well as the narration. However, the narration was in French and I've included both the French version and my English translation. Everything in between "<" and ">" is the narration, everything between "[" and "]" is my comments. The big red letters are used for anything Billy says while just big letters are his parents' words.

I've also made several hundred screen captures. Because of bandwidth, they're on another server... Chech them out here!


-------------------------And so it begins------------------------


[This was the preview at the beginning] <Billy Idol n'était pas tout à fait un scout modèle.> [translation: Billy Idol was not exactly a model scout.]

We were on the grass kissing in front of the whole thing that was through the scout troopers and like fuck them anyway. [End of preview]

Very early on a teacher in one of my school reports had written in gigentic letters WILLIAM IS IDLE I-D-L-E and then I thought, 'but it should be rock idol' I-D-O-L.

<Avant de devenir le mouton noir du rock Billy Idol s'appelle William Broad. William grandit à Londres dans une famille de classe moyenne. Il est très top attiré par la musique.> [translation: Before becoming the black sheep of rock Billy Idol's name is William Broad. William grows up in London in a middle class family. He is attracted to music very early on.]

Just something right from the start I just- I just had a natural affinity for. I real-really loved it, so and, it just took something like say the Beatles to come along when I was six for me to start getting excited.

MOTHER: My husband's not musical but my family were musical and I'm sure that's where Billy got it from.

My granddad actually bought me a five pound guitar. That was kinda the beginning. By the time I was ten I tought myself a few chords, same three chords I know now and got a long way on that-on it.

<Ce cadeau arrive à point pour Billy. Son côté rebelle s'affirme de plus en plus. Il est renvoyé des scouts lorsqu'il est surpris à embrasser une fille.> [I'm not sure about the first sentence, since I don't know the expression "arriver à point". If you know, please email! I guessed it as being... translation: This gift becomes very important to Billy. His rebellious side become stronger and stronger. He is kicked out of scouts after getting caught kissing a girl.]


We were on the grass kissing in front of the whole thing and that was through the scout troopers and it was like fuck them. What do they know? Nothing. Where are they?

<Billy développe une aversion pour l'école.> [translation: Billy develops an aversion for school.]

I just found school to be a bit boring and I fff- I don't have much of a focus for things I don't like.

FATHER: As far as I was concerned he was a normal nice boy and it was difficult for me when he began to show a lot more interest in music then he did in arithmetic.

By the time I was thirteen or something we were much more interested in girls, joints, rock n roll. We wanted that world.

<Billy quite l'école sans même terminer sa première année d'université. Il décide alors de poursuivre son rêve de rock and roll.> [trans.: Billy quits school without even completing his first year of university. He decides, therefore, to pursue his rock and roll dream.]

MOTHER: He said I am not going back mommy, I'm going into the music business. That was a gloomy sunday for us, wasn't it? [looks at Billy's dad and laughs]

<Fort de sa nouvelle liberté Billy forme son premier groupe en 1976. Il est le guitariste soliste.> [trans.: Enthusiastic because of his new freedom, Billy froms his first group in 1976. He is the solo guitarist.]


I probably should have been the singer from the start, but it was a great kind of few months of playing the guitar and singing because then I learned how to be onstage.

<Billy et le guitariste Tony James renvoient bientôt les autres membres du groupe Chelsea qui les rebâtisse Generation X.> [trans.: Billy and the guitarist Tony James soon fire the other members of the group Chelsea and rebabtise themselves Generation X.]

I had some books, some sixties books that I-we loved, and I showed one of these books to Tony. It was about all the youth movements and calling it Generation X, saying that really our generation was searching for an identity, seemed like a perfect name and then we phoned all our friends up to tell them. They all said they hated it so I knew it was right.

<Generation X gagne en popularité et participe a l'émission Top of the Pops en 1977.> [trans.: Generation X gains popularity and participates in an episode of Top of the Pops in 1977.]


Generation X were a bit of a teen pop sensation. We were one of the first punk rock groups to go on Top of the Pops.

<Les divergences artistiques minent l'ambiance du groupe qui se sépare en 1981. Billy prit aussitôt ses bagages et il va traiter ses mèches blondes aux Etats-Unis oł il poursuit sa quête de célébrité. Billy gagne du meme coup deux fans qui doutaient jusqu'alors de son talent.> [trans.: Artistic divergences destroy the mood of the group which splits up in 1981. Right away, Billy takes his bags and goes to show off his blond locks in the United States where he pursues his quest of fame. At the same time Billy wins two fans who were doubtful of his talent until now.]

MOTHER: Seeing  billy onstage was amazing
FATHER: and always has been


--------------------------That's it---------------------------