free web hosting | website hosting | Business WebSite Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting


This is taken from the Encyclopedia of Rock Stars. A scan of the photocopies of these pages will be available shortly.

Crampton, Luke, et al. "BILLY IDOL." Encyclopedia of Rock Stars. Ed. Annabel Martin, et al. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc., 1996.

Everything below this line is taken directly from the Encyclopedia. Great care was taken to type everything the way it was: all punctuation, capitalisation, spelling, font styles and so forth. This does not mean it is perfect, typos may have been made. I did notice a few spelling errors in names, though (Steve Stevens is spelled Stephens once, Willem Wolfe spelled Wolf...), so the book isn't perfect, either.


[18] Already seen on UK television as a devoted Sex Pistols follower on the group's notorious Bill Grundy-hosted ITV "Today"-appearance shocker, and a member of the band's dedicated Bromley, Kent-contingent fan annex, Idol (b. William Michael Albert Broad, Nov. 30, 1955, Stanmore, Middx.) has teamed with bassist Tony James, ex-London S.S. and future Sigue Sigue Sputnick, who is equally keen on the burgeoning UK punk movement. Within two weeks of their August meeting, the pair joins Gene October's hardcore punk combo Chelsea, with Idol now making his first formal live appearance with the band, playing guitar at an ICA, London gig. Within two months, however, both he and James will quit the band, taking drummer John Towe with them.
Dec [10] Also recruiting guitarist Bob Andrews, allowing Idol to assume a full lead vocal role, new punk outfit Generation X makes its live debut at the Central College of Art and Design, London.
[21] Generation X baptises the Roxy Club, Covent Garden, London.

The band reveals in a New Musical Express interview that it doesn't drink or take drugs. "The revolution can't happen if you're knackered tomorrow" says Idol.
July Having grabbed attention via a four-song "John Peel Show" Radio 1 session, the group signs to Chrysalis Records.
Sept Its first release, Your Generation, a sound of the times, makes UK #36. (Before the end of the decade, Generation X, billed Gen X from late 1979, will nab four more UK chart singles: Ready Steady Go (#47, Mar 1978), King Rocker (#11, Jan 1979), Valley Of The Dolls (#23, Apr 1979) and Friday's Angels (#62, June 1979), and the albums Generation X (#29, Apr [29] 1978) and Valley Of The Dolls, produced by Ian Hunter (#51, Mar [3] 1979). Towe will leave in December 1977 to join the Adverts, and will be replaced by Mark Laff.)

Dancing With Myself, a masturbation-themed Idol-penned single, which he will retain in his solo repertoire, stalls at UK #62.
Nov Andrews and Laff quit, but Idol and James are determined to continue, and recruit ex-Clash drummer Terry Chimes and Chelsea's James Stephenson on guitar.

The final Gen X album, Kiss Me Deadly, fails to score and the reissued Dancing With Myself stalls at UK #60. Dissatisfied, Idol quits the band and heads for New York, where he links with Kiss manager Bill Aucoin and producer Keith Forsey, both of whom will help steer his solo career. Idol forms a new band around himself, with new York guitarist Steve Stevens a key element. Aucoin secures Idol an ongoing Chrysalis solo contract with a $250-a-week retainer.
Nov His debut solo the E.P. Don't Stop, produced by Forsey and already directing Idol away from the rawness of punk towards a more mainstream new-wave rock, reaches US #71, remaining charted for over a year, and includes a solo version of Dancing With Myself.

Summer-rock anthem, Hot In The City, makes a US radio breakthrough to reach US #23 (and UK #58) and spurs its parent album, Billy Idol, again Forsey-helmed, to US #45 during a two-year chart residence, as Idol prepares to make his solo UK live debut.

[2] Rock-driven White Wedding makes US #36.
Dec Rebel Yell is released, set to hit US #6. Idol's most accessible rock outing to date, with eight of its nine cuts co-written with Stephens, it will eventually reach double-platinum status with two million US sales.

[24] Rebel Yell makes US #46 and UK #62.
July Idol finally makes a UK chart impression, with the melodic Eyes Without A Face reaching #18 and also hits US #4.
Sept Always eager to explore sexual themes, Flesh For Fantasy presses at UK #54 and US #29.
Dec [8] Catch My Fall makes US #50.

[31] Idol is controversially featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, wearing even less of his rock bondage gear than usual and showing a considerable amount of cheek.
June Chrysalis UK releases the compilation album Vital Idol. It initally spends six months on the chart, hitting UK #7.
July White Wedding is re-released in the UK, for the third time, and hits #6.
Oct [12] Reissued Rebel Yell now hits UK #6, while its parent album, Rebel Yell, makes UK #36, three years after its original US success.

To Be A Lover reaches UK #22.
Nov His fourth solo album, Whiplash Smile, retaining the successful working trio of Idol, Forsey and Stevens and also featuring varied musical guests, including Jocelyn Brown, Harold Faltermeyer and Richard Tee, hits UK #8.
Dec [20] To Be A Lover hits US #6, as its parent album, Whiplash Smile, hits US #6.

[24] Idol sings To Be A Lover at the 29th Grammy Awards at Los Angeles, CA's Shrine Auditorium.
Mar [7] Second extract, Don't Need A Gun, reaches UK #26 and US #37.
June [27] Idol-penned, acoustic guitar-led ballad, Sweet Sixteen, reaches US #20.
July Sweet Sixteen makes sweet #17 in the UK.
Oct His revival of Tommy James & the Shondells' Mony Mony hits UK #7.
Nov [21] Mony Mony "Live" tops the US chart, as Vital Idol hits US #10.

The "exterminator" mix of Hot In The City returns it to the UK survey at #13, and also recharts in the US, at #48.
June Idol and girlfriend Perri Lister become parents to a son, Willem Wolf Broad.
July [9] Second compilation album, Idol Songs - 11 Of The Best, hits UK #2, behind Tracy Chapman's eponymous album, as Idol takes a lengthy recording hiatus.
Aug A belated release of Catch My Fall makes UK #63.

[24] Idol takes part in a benefit production of Pete Townshend's "Tommy" at Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, playing the role of Kevin, alongside Elton John as the Pinball Wizard, Steve Winwood as the Hawker, Patti LaBelle as the Acid Queen and Phil Collins as Uncle Ernie.

[6] Idol is hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, after fracturing his right leg and left wrist in a motorcycle accident after apparently running a stop sign and smashing into a car.
Apr [18] He has a further operation, to place a steel rod in his injured leg.
May [12] With Stevens departed to solo projects, Charmed Life, showing Idol's sneer to be intact despite his accident and featuring new axeman, Texas guitarist Mark Younger-Smith, reaches UK #15, and will make US #11.
July [9] Idol performs impromptu duets at Los Angeles nightclub Spice with Tom Jones, singing Got To Be Your Lover, Great Balls Of Fire and Babaloo, following a press conference.
Aug [4] Cradle Of Love, aided by a teen-babe featuring, MTV heavily-rotated video clip, rocks at US #2, having already stopped at UK #34. It will also be featured in the Andrew Dice Clay movie, "The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane".
[25] "Charmed Life" tour, with a backing band comprising Younger-Smith (lead guitar), Larry Seymour (bass), Bonnie Hayes (keyboards), Tal Bergman (drums) and Carla Day and Donna McDaniels (backing vocals), and support act Faith No More, begins in Montreal, PQ, Canada, with Idol happily brandishing his still-needed walking stick.
Sept [7] "Cradle Of Love" wins the Best Video From A Film category at the seventh annual MTV Video Music Awards, held at the Universal Amphitheatre.
Oct [6] His revival of the Doors' L.A. Woman makes US #52 and UK #70, as Idol plays at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.
[31] During a show in Seattle, WA, Idol dumps 600 dead fish in Faith No More's dressing room. They respond by walking on stage naked during his set.
Nov At the end of the month, Idol has to cancel four European dates on his "Charmed Life" tour, after his corneas are lacerated by grit, following an outdoor gig in Norway.
Dec [13] A four-date British tour opens at the Royal Dublin Society Hall, Dublin, Eire, as Prodigal Blues makes UK #47.

[20] Idol performs at the marathon "Rock In Rio II" festival at the Maracana soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
June [27-30] Idol takes part in the annual "Roskilde Festival", Roskilde, Denmark.
Oct [3] Cradle Of Love is honored for broadcasting achievements at ASCAP's 11th annual London Awards, at Claridges Hotel.
[11] Idol allegedly punches dinner companion Amber Nevel in the face outside a West Hollywood restaurant.
Nov [20] He surrenders to the authorities, and is booked on assault and battery charges and ordered to appear on December 18th at the Beverly Hills Municipal Court, Beverly Hills, CA.

[21] Idol pleads guilty to assault and battery charges. Sentencing on the two misdemeanor assault and battery counts is set for April 1st, with Idol facing six months in prison. At the initial hearing deputy District Attorney Mark Vezzani claims that the musician's large silver rings cut Ms. Nevel's mouth, bruised her and caused slight concussion.
Apr [1] On April Fool's Day, Idol is ordered to pay $2,700 in fines and appear in a series of anti-drug commercials, following his "no contest" plea in the case brought by Nevel.
June [19] The lawyer for Cherlanne Thompson drops the court case she is bringing against Idol, claiming the singer burned her with a cigarette and attempted to rape her. Idol denies ever meeting Thompson, who had formerly claimed, incorrectly, in 1988, that she had a "very close relationship" with one-time Kiss drummer Peter Criss.
Sept [24] Idol catwalks at a "Jean Paul Gaultier In L.A." fashion benefit for AMFAR AIDS research, at the Shrine Auditorium.
Oct As Idol continues to work on a new album, co-producing with Robin Hancock, he takes his son Willem to Sea World in San Diego to visit Clyde, a 520lb sea lion, and Shamu the Killer Whale. Sea World News sends out a press release to inform the world of this event.

[3] Shock To The System, previewing his new album, Cyberpunk, reaches UK #30.
[10] After a lengthy recording layoff, Cyberpunk, a rock/techno fusion departure which includes a cover version of Velvet Underground's Heroin, debuts at its UK #20 peak. It also includes the world's first interactive computer biography in a limited-edition digipak format.
[17] Cyberpunk bows at its US #48 peak but will fall off the survey after only seven weeks.
Aug [12] He guests on NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show".
Sept [18] Idol plays a sole UK date at the National Bowl, Milton Keynes, Bucks., supporting Bon Jovi.

[5] Following a similar incident in January when he collapsed outside Tatou, a Beverly Hills restaurant and nightclub, Idol is admitted to Los Angeles' St. Joseph Medical Center, following an apparent drug overdose at his Hollywood Hills home.
Sept [10] His theme song for the currently-playing hit movie of the same name, Speed debuts at its UK #47 peak, during a two week chart stay.

[10] Idol performs at the opening night gala of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Dec [15] He appears at LIVE 105's Acoustic Christmas at the Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA, on a bill with Oasis, Sonic Youth, Garbage, Love & Rockets, No Doubt, Toadies and Radiohead among others.

--------------------------------------------------------------- the End. Click the following banner to go back to IDOL LINKS