Billy Idol Recalls His Fight Against Getting Canceled

Billy Idol recently opened up about his fights against getting canceled at the beginning of the 80s. During a recent interview, the Generation X singer chatted about his self-titled album and its recently released expanded edition. Idol recalled the days he first released the album in 1982 and stated that he wasn’t sure what people’s initial reaction would be. He stated:

“I didn’t know quite what people would think about what I was doing that I’ve gone to America and I had slightly changed my music from the Generation X music. But I was really telling them to f*ck off; really, it’s nobody’s business but mine. I’ve gotta do what I’ve got to do, just like I did with punk rock. We did that when we started out with punk with Generation X; we were doing it.”

It seems there had been a competition between Generation X and Sex Pistols, and Idol had no idea that another band would surpass them in terms of success. He explained how Pistols got so popular and what he was doing with Generation X at that time:

“We had no idea that the [Sex Pistols] were gonna go on The Grundy Show, and it was gonna explode in England. We had no idea. We did it for the first couple of hundred others in England. It dawns on you, a couple of hundred other people.”

As the decades have passed, Idol has had to adapt to the evolving and changing music industry. He clarified by stating:

“We were doing it to entertain them, so here I was in Manhattan thinking kind of the same thing: I’m out to entertain the people that wanna be entertained right now with a new music. Because it was a new decade, it was the 80s, it wasn’t the 70s anymore, we were sort of back to fashion, style, music. Everything we were all like, ‘We’re gonna make a mark on this decade.'”

The rocker went on to explain how the criticism of the 80s’ audience helped shape the 1982 self-titled album:

“And everyone was already saying, the people of the 60s and 70s were trying to say, ‘the 80s suck.’ I’m gonna put up with that all the time, ‘Music sucks, MTV sucks.’ We’re all fighting back against this kind of thing from the older people telling us it was over, ‘This isn’t rock ‘n’ roll, it’s…’ And we were sort of really having to… fight into life, make a mark, really, and that’s what this album is all about.”

In 1981, Idol left Generation X to pursue his solo career and released his self-titled album a year later. After over 30 years, Idol reunited with his former bandmates to form Generation Sex in 2018. While there are currently no scheduled tours, the band has been actively performing since their formation.

See the interview below.