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Billy Idol Honored Today On The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Billy Idol
Billy Idol

Yesterday, it was raining cats and dogs in Los Angeles, and Billy Idol’s induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame had to be postponed to a much sunnier Friday. His star on Hollywood Boulevard was unveiled around noon, and I skipped lunch to see if I could get a glimpse of the iconic rocker. These gatherings always bring a good crowd and it’s not too easy to get close (unless you are invited), but it’s always an event, a typical Hollywood event, and this specific one was a punk rock royalty gathering… I caught sight of Linda Ramone, Michael Des Barres, and Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, while hardcore legend Henry Rollins, as well as artist Shepard Fairey, were guest speakers. Idol’s band and his entire family were also in attendance – it was impossible to not notice his cute granddaughters – and I recognize his son Willem Wolf Broad because I once saw him play with his band JUGGS.

The ceremony took place at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Amoeba Music store, which has to be the best location for a rocker. It’s funny how some of these punk rockers find themselves at the center of these reward ceremonies, it doesn’t look too rebellious right? Billy Idol actually couldn’t believe it and he talked in a very emotional tone when he addressed the crowd: “You are the best. Quite simply, I’m here today because of you, because of your love,” he said. “You supported me all this time. Forty-seven years now I’ve been doing this. It really is crazy to find myself getting an award like this or being honored in this way. I mean, 47 years of doing this after I started in Generation X, and 35 years after coming here, I just really could never have imagined anything like this. Initially, we did the music back in the mid-’70s during the punk-rock time. There wasn’t much hope or anything. We decided if there’s nothing, there’s no future, we’re going to do what we love. And that’s what I did. I did the music because I loved it. It wasn’t for any other reason, really. Anyway, I didn’t really think doing this would last very long. We thought maybe six months, maybe a year, maybe two years. I could never have imagined something like this. It’s just incredible.”

During his long career, Idol sold more than 40 million albums, many of them went platinum, and everybody knows at least “Dancing with Myself”, “White Wedding”, “Rebel Yell”, “Mony Mony”, “Eyes Without A Face”, “Flesh For Fantasy” and “Cradle Of Love”…  it’s now part of our DNA, as Henry Rollins said.

Idol was a pioneer of the genre. But what genre exactly? As Shepard Fairey said, he was never really accepted as a punk rocker because his songs were too melodious! However, his lip-curling and black-leather persona is legendary and made him one of the first MTV stars. Fairey also noticed that Idol’s creations embraced the original spirit of punk rock, including many different genera with freedom. He also mentioned what an incredible performer Billy Idol can be, a live act that no one can follow… I actually had the chance to see him opening for Morrissey and, as good as the ex-Smiths frontman can be, Idol’s part didn’t look like an opening act at all.

Billy Idol’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was the first one to be unveiled in 2023, and I got lucky to have an extended lunch break on that day.

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