Billy Idol
Billy Idol was incredibly successful throughout the 1980s. Born William Broad in 1955 he first came to prominence in the band Generation X in 1976. Gen X were a fairly successful punk band but it wasn't until Billy left the UK for the USA that he became the worldwide smash we remember today. With the help of the music channel MTV and a new Chrysalis record deal he scored hit after hit from 1982 till well into the 90s. Songs such as "White Wedding", "Rebel Yell", "Hot In The City" and "Sweet Sixteen" will remain popular for a long, long time.

In 2005 Billy is back with a new album 'Devils Playground'.

Here Billy Idol describes his new record track by track.

Super Overdrive: I was thinking of the Richard Branson rocket, especially that first flight when it started to wobble just as it was leaving the atmosphere. Rock & roll is like that--very fragile, and it can kill you, but you can ride it to places you've never been. Brian had the riff and I said, 'Well, what are we going to call it?" And Steve looked down at his distortion pedal and said, 'Super Overdrive'? We were laughing because it was so brilliantly dumb. I was in super overdrive with my music, but I've also been in super overdrive when I was just crazy.

World Comin' Down: That's kinda written from a kid's point of view. I remembered all the things that I went through as a kid, and how school is just the world in microcosm. There are times for everyone as you grow up to resent authority, but you have to break the rules to be true to yourself. Now, they REALLY penalize you for that. I've never been able to learn anything that I wasn't interested in, just couldn't make myself care why the litmus paper was changing colors.

Rat Race: That's the adult me talking to myself. Our public lives turn into rat races, but then you discover that your private life is a rat race too, and the problem is inside yourself. It's so easy to get sucked into things and then wonder why you're doing them, which can cause damage. Somehow you're not going to be the same person again, the person you're proud of.

Sherri: I wrote it from a girl's point of view, something I'd never done before. I'd pretty much done everything by the age of 16, so I know how easy it is to run away from things and then discover that there's really no place to run. You've got to make the best of what you've got right here. It's difficult to tell anyone what to do, especially when you're Billy Idol, but then, we all grow up a little don't we?

Plastic Jesus: I was playing this thing on acoustic guitar one day and Steve Stevens said, "That sound's like 'Plastic Jesus.'" And I said, "What's that?" We couldn't find a recording of the original, so I'm sure the melody is different. We just downloaded Ernie Marrs' lyrics, which had the feeling of a hillbilly song. I identified with the guy being an alcoholic carrying around his booze in the plastic Jesus. There might be a little Donovan in the chorus. The weirdest stuff comes out when you squeeze the sponge."

Scream: Totally filthy. Its three o'clock in the morning and the sex beast is on the prowl. It's such a Billy Idol song, it's almost funny. But it really roars.

Yelling At The Xmas Tree: My dad never came home drunk like that, but I did a few times. And I did spend an entire Christmas once yelling at the tree like it was my manager or somebody. I don't think my mother ever had sex with Santa Claus. But maybe. Who knows?

Romeo's Waiting: A few years ago I found myself in a strip bar with all the other losers, and I started to see it from their point of view. They're the most romantic people in the world, because they're thinking that the chick is dancing for them, that they're going to save her. Romeo was always a bit of a loser. A total loser, when you think about it.

Body Snatcher: My mother was an O'Sullivan and she always said that people with an O in front of their name heard the Banshee wail. And I have heard the Banshee wail. I've been in that place when I thought the body snatchers were coming. I've nearly killed myself on the motorcycle, and I've nearly killed myself with drugs, so I'm very lucky to be here. But this is more about something dark taking over your soul, the melancholia thing.

Evil Eye: Continues the same theme as "Body Snatcher." Heroin is a relationship drug. That's how I got into it. I fell in love, and we fell into heroin. That was a long time ago, and it took a long time to shake it.

Lady Do Or Die: A mix of Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen. You're on the road, and you decide that playing music for living isn't so bad. Music as a way of freeing yourself from prison--it's done that for me. Do that or die.

Cherie: The challenge was writing a song that says "I Love You" and making it real. I did it by flashback to my childhood in the punk revolution. You have everything but you're still looking for something more, so you lose what you had. And yet you've still got your memories, even after you fuck up so badly. So I'm saying, "Thanks for helping me. You made my life great, even if we're not together anymore."

Summer Running: I was riding my motorcycle and rejuvenating the life I nearly destroyed in "Body Snatcher" and "Evil Eye." When you ride, it's almost like meditating and you can ask yourself all the important questions: What do I really love? What do I really believe? What do I really want to do? You can answer those questions if you just find a place where you can stop and think. For me, that was the motorcycle. For somebody else, it might be a Winnebago.