Friday 19 August 2011
Billy Idol recently tweeted that he's writing his memoirs. As coffee table books go it bears all the potential hallmarks of an interesting read; depending on how selective his memory is it should be a tad deeper than a copy of, let's say, Hello! magazine. I say should: he'll no doubt want to concentrate on the superstar years but I'm more interested in The Bromley Contingent, Chelsea, Generation X, playing darts with John Walters and whether or not he tuned his own guitar. His publisher, on the other hand, will probably insist that the early days are glossed over in the first chapter with the emphasis on White Wedding, motorbike crashes and his Hollywood Hills nubiles.
Either way, William Albert Broad and his chums in Generation X (Tony James, Derwood Andrews and Mark Laff) provided the back drop to one of the most memorable nights in the life of your humble narrator: on 2 December 1978 they played West Runton Pavilion on my best friend's 18th birthday. We spent the whole gig down the front dodging the gob. And flying beer cans. They were utterly brilliant. Unfortunately, no footage of the gig exists. Unlike the second time I saw Idol in the flesh nearly 30 years later at Nottingham's Rock City. I was covering the gig for the local paper and although I didn't quite do a hatchet job on him, I did receive hate mail from some of his adoring fans. He was quite clearly past his sell by date and, check my video (below) at 31 seconds, his microphone throwing* capabilities were not commensurate with those of a card carrying rock star. In fact, they were pretty sh*t.
I'll be interested to see if either of the above shows gets a mention. I shan't hold my breath.
* Roger, show Billy how it's done. Ah, maybe not.