For every Beatles, there’s gotta be a Monkees.
For every New York Dolls, there’s a Kiss.
For every Springsteen, there’s a Meat Loaf.
Indeed, for every Madonna, there’s gotta be a Martika or a Keedy or a Regina.
For every artist in popular music that makes changes by him or her or themselves, there’s going to be some record company’s attempt to create the same thing only bigger and better.
And so for Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer, there was Billy Idol.
Idol started as the lead singer of “Generation X”, best known as punk rock’s first sex symbols:
(80’s trivia buffs: the bass player is Tony James, who went on to form “Sigue Sigue Sputnik”, one of 1983’s many “Next Big Things” that was pretty much a trivia question by 1986).
I always got the impression, even during his ’80s heyday, that Idol was to Joe Strummer as Davy Jones was to Paul McCartney.
And don’t get me wrong; there are worse people to imitate.
And don’t get me wrong: he had a cool song or two. “Rebel Yell” was a great rocker…
…and “Blue Highway” is one of my favorite songs nobody knows from the eighties:
But for the life of me, I could never, ever get excited about Billy Idol.