Billy Idol: Smokin’ at 60


The sneer was still there.

So was the spiky blonde hair.

And the punk-rock-glam-80’s attitude.
I only knew the 5 or 6 hit songs that Billy Idol had belted out a couple of decades or so ago.
And he sang most of them.
Except for Sweet Sixteen, and Flesh For Fantasy.
And I wondered if it was because his voice was not all there.
He performed to a full house at Rama Casino the other night.
Hubby was a fan and wanted to go.
I wasn’t sure what to expect – but I was open to the experience.
And what an experience!
I tallied at least 5 costume changes. Perhaps rivalling Beyonce.
And, at 60 years of age, he wasn’t at all hesitant to show off his toned and tanned torso, glistening with sweat.
For a man who has been to hell and back: a motorcycle accident that required a steel rod in his leg, drug addiction and a near overdose, and probably much more that the general public doesn’t even know about, he has sure kept himself in great shape.
He was dancing all over the place, and even performed some rock-styled jumping jacks.
And he made fun of the fact that he can’t quite carry the same tune anymore.
But he did his absolute best shrieking out the lyrics to Dancing With Myself, Eyes Without A Face, and a great finale of Mony Mony, profanities included.
White Wedding was done in an amazing acoustic style with his longtime guitarman Steve Stevens.
Stevens also put on a great show offering some fantastic solo bits while Idol had a break to wipe the mascara that was running under his eyes, and a costume change. Stevens looked more like the lead singer of The Cure with a great 80’s style hairdo that made me proud to be a part of that decade, and proffered some incredible guitar playing while he held the instrument behind his head (!) and later also played a few chords with his teeth (!!).
And Billy Idol seemed not to take anything for granted, and gave back to his fans, too.
He tossed out several frisbees to the audience, and later some drumsticks. He signed and handed out paper souvenirs of the performance.
He happily wiped his sweaty torso with a T-shirt that someone in the audience gave to him before handing it back.
And he eagerly signed his autograph on whatever was handed to him: album covers, books, etc.
How nice is that!?
And at the end of the show – he showed his gratitude by thanking his fans for giving him a “Great F*****g Life.”
I was impressed.
Even though it was a profanity laden thank you – it still counts in my books.
And so, as he embarks on more performances in Las Vegas later this year, it’s a show that I would highly recommend taking in. Even with the missed chords. Even with the profanities.
Billy Idol gives his all on the stage.

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