Billy Idol: English Rocker, Musical Legend

Posted by Katy Kelly on Jul 23, 2015 1:45:05 PM

Dancing with Myself

Growing up in a tumultuous time, Billy Idol (known then as William Broad) was shaped by his geographic, cultural, and historical influences. He first achieved fame as a punk rock band member of Generation X and unlike other punk rockers he loved The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and their music inspired his own.

In 1976 after years of playing guitar in several bands and following The Sex Pistols from gig to gig William Broad reinvented himself as Billy Idol and just like that an icon was born. Billy Idol moved from England to New York City in 1981 to work on his solo career. He connected with ex-Kiss manager Bill Aucoin, and new guitar partner Steve Stevens. The punk rock look meshed well with the glam rock of Stevens.

In 1982 Billy Idol released “Dancing With Myself” in the UK and in ’83 released the song along with a music video in the States. It played on MTV for six months.

New Perspective

The 1980’s produced and ravaged many would-be stars and Billy Idol was no different. However, he came through the highs and lows that NYC and Rock-n-Roll fame brough.

However, “The new millennia saw a perspective change for Billy Idol. The well-loved sneer and the pioneering creativity remain, but the dial has been effectively turned down on the demons and decadence.”

Billy Idol has continued to reinvent himself through the decades, not only as an English rocker, singer, songwriter, but as an actor as well – appearing in The Wedding Singer (as himself) and The Doors (as Jim Morrison’s drinking pal, Cat). He also wrote an auto-biography, Dancing With Myself, which was released in the fall of 2014.


  • Billy Idol (1982)
  • Rebel Yell (1983)
  • Whiplash Smile (1986)
  • Charmed Life (1990)
  • Cyberpunk (1993)
  • Devil's Playground (2005)
  • Happy Holidays (2006)
  • Kings & Queens of the Underground (2014)

Check out our Spotify playlist for Billy Idol here.

See English rocker and musical legend Billy Idol live in Reno. Get your tickets here.

Topics: Entertainment

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