Living your life like a runaway train moving from one town to the next is a life that only rock stars can live to talk about. Fortunately, one of our favorite wandering rock stars settled down long enough to drop new music. Who am I talking about? It’s Billy Idol of course.
Idol has been entertaining us for four decades and he’s lived a charmed life, or so we thought. Now he is living a life of reflection and contemplation. He’s lived two lives; the life he’s learned with, and the life he’s lived with. Just like in “Prodigal Blues,” this new four-song EP titled “The Roadside” taps into the themes that made Billy Idol who he is today.
Those who have faced their own mortality and lived to tell us about it can relate to Idol and his state of reflection and contemplation. Turn right, turn left, who knows what will happen. For Idol, his crossroads took place when he had a horrific accident on his motorcycle.
That near-fatal moment in his life took place in 1990, it nearly meant Idol losing a leg, plus he wasn’t able to walk for nearly a year. Events like that take time to heal both physical and emotionally. Fans will recognize a new direction for Idol; he’s now 65 and it’s time for a change.
In the beginning, we all fell in love with Idol and Gen X when they had us dancing with ourselves.
Then came “Rebel Yell,” the album that made Idol an international sensation of his own. Songs that changed our lives have a Billy Idol signature next to it. We can’t remember a time when we didn’t know an Idol song… “Mony Mony,” “White Wedding,” “Flesh For Fantasy” “Hot in the City,” “Blue Highway,” “L.A. Woman,” “Cradle of Love,” “(Do Not) Stand in the Shadows,” “Sweet Sixteen.” I mean, the list goes on and on.
But with stardom comes all the baggage of losing your life, so-to-speak, because your life is never really yours.
You live in the public eye or you become a larger-than-life cartoon character that you have created that comes to life through your music. When fans see you, they don’t always see the real you. They see the guy singing the song that brings down the rain from above, or the guy in that video that they love so much who just happens to be on that runaway train that stopped in their town.
As for the new music, those who have followed Idol’s journey will appreciate songs like “Rita Hayworth.” A definite swipe at Hollywood and the lifestyle.
The other song Idol fans may flock to is “U Don’t Have to Kiss Me Like That.” The songs hit a familiar tone, but just at a different pace. “Bitter Taste” is more a soul-searching song which some may find comfort in, or not. That’s part of the evolution of any artists – at some point those stars grow up, and Billy Idol is now a Grandfather and he’s finally made peace with himself and his music reflects that.
In a recent interview, Idol said, “Seeing what the pandemic was beginning to do to people, I realized I’ve never really written about the motorcycle accident, and now I’ve had time to take it all in.” Who knew self-reflection could be so cathartic!?
“The Roadside” is out today, and it’s Idol’s first attempt at new music in seven years. You can it up everywhere you normally get your music. He’s also touring again, so keep an eye on those dates to catch the wandering train that is Idol. Check out the new tunes, and you’ll appreciate Billy Idol in an entirely new way.