Billy Idol Recalls How Paul McCartney And John Lennon Shaped His Music Career

Generation X lead singer Billy Idol recently joined Classic Rock for an interview and revealed how he reshaped his music career after watching Paul McCartney and John Lennon‘s performances.

In 1976, Idol joined Bromley Contingent of Sex Pistols fans and traveled with them to watch the band perform. Later on, he began his music career by joining Chelsea and co-founding Generation X. He first achieved fame after emerging from the London punk scene in the 1970s as Generation X’s frontman. Later, he decided to embark on a solo music career and gained further recognition.

Although Generation X was a punk rock band, they were inspired by the British pop of the ’60s. Moreover, they built their music on the Beatles and the Stones’ sound at that time. As it seems, the Beatles’ influence over Billy Idol was also prominent back when he was just a child.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Billy Idol said that he tried to be a drummer when he was around seven years old. However, he later realized that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were in the spotlight, writing songs and playing guitars. So, after seeing them perform, Idol began teaching himself to play guitar when he was ten.

In the interview, Classic Rock asked Billy Idol the following:

“Did you have musical ambitions before joining the punk scene?”

As a response, Billy Idol said:

“I started out trying to play the drums when I was about seven years old. Then I realized John Lennon and Paul McCartney were at the front, writing the songs, playing the guitars, so I started teaching myself the guitar at ten, to have something to sing along to.”

During the conversation, Billy Idol also said that the music scene in the 1960s was quite exciting. He stated that the variety of genres inspired the musicians to play music, and the emergence of punk rock opened the door for those.