Billy Idol Admits His ‘Violent Phase’ Got Him Deported

Billy Idol opened up about his trip to Thailand in 1989, detailing how everything went wrong to the point of his deportation from the country. In his interview with Classic Rock, Billy explained that he and his friend Harry Johnson initially intended to refrain from using drugs. However, this plan was disrupted when they fell victim to heroin:

“We were just going to drink and not take any drugs. […] This stuff was so strong and severely addictive that we then had to get off it before we could fly back home. It’s a fourteen-hour flight, and there’s no way you could do that while coming off heroin [laughs]. You had to get semi-well so you weren’t shitting yourself.”

He continued by explaining what they did to get ‘semi well:’

“We went to a pharmacy and got all these downers to knock ourselves out until we were kind of normal again. The only trouble was that we had a lot of Valiums and heavy tranquilizers.”

Idol then described how the Valium, which he took as a ‘downer,’ affected him:

“I don’t do well on tranquilizers at all. They just made me change my personality completely. I would become violent and start smashing things; I’d been lifting weights, so I was massively powerful. I think we went through a few hotels like that before the Thai army escorted me out of the country on a gurney [laughs].”

In 1990, Billy Idol got into a serious motorcycle crash which caused him to almost lose his leg. In his 2014 memoir, he stated that he had not been using hard drugs since 2003, although he still drinks and smokes marijuana.

Billy Idol released a reissue of his self-titled debut album, featuring previously unreleased live show tracks from 1982. You can listen to the whole album here.

You can check Billy Idol’s tour dates and buy tickets here.