It’s not something that’s voted on, it’s not something that can be bought. What exactly it is? Why do certain artists just seem to be custom fitted to be World Ambassadors of Rock & Roll? They seem designed especially for the pop culture lexicon. We may never know how or what captures the public attention to the degree that rockets them into Rock & Roll royalty. The one thing that cannot be denied is the impact these special artists have on shaping the world we live in. In my opinion, Billy Idol makes the short list of these “Ambassadors” of Rock & Roll. I believe Billy’s branch of the rock & roll family tree can even be linked as an influencer of today’s Electronic Dance Music, which is probably a whole other article.

Guitarist Steve Stevens and Billy Idol – 2018 

I’ve always admired how Billy was able to merge the worlds of Punk Rock, New Wave Dance, and Classic Guitar Rock. Then to push that combination into a sound that was original and lasting. I’ve always felt this is best displayed on a track from “Rebel Yell”. Nope, not the iconic title track but, ”Eyes Without a Face”. Why you ask? Simple, this song tracks in at just under 5:00, the first 2:30 is melodic, slow dance beat, dreamy new wave. Then at the half way mark guitarist Steven Stevens rips into his iconic riff and Billy comes back in with his up tempo lyrics. When I think of Billy Idol, I hear that riff in my head.

When you hear the music you make a dip ~Into someone else’s pocket then make a slip.~ Steal a car and go to Las Vegas. Oh, the gigolo pool…

Billy Idol 2018   

When invited to photograph a recent Billy Idol show we jumped at the chance. Those that read the pages of Artist Waves may recall my series on finding a box of 35mm film negatives from the 80’s. One roll found was taken at the L.A. Forum on Billy Idol’s 1987 Whiplash Smile Tour. Those images were not taken with a professional photo pass. Literally just a kid smuggling in a 35mm Canon A1 and a friend with a lens down his pants. So shooting this Billy Idol show was in a way completing photographic journey for myself. Thanks Billy!

This 35mm image was taken at the L.A. Forum on the 1987 Whiplash Smile Tour – Link – Lost 80’s 35mm Negatives — 1987 Billy Idol at L.A. Forum guest Eddie Van Halen 

Billy Idol 2018

Now Billy Idol is set breaking new ground, playing a residency in Las Vegas at the Palms Casino Resort. Presented by Live Nation and SiriusXM. The 10-show run begins Jan. 18, 2019 and continues with dates throughout January and October 2019.  Billy Idol: Las Vegas 2019 dates: Jan 18,19,23,25 & 26 – October 4, 5, 9, 11, 12


Billy Idol with guitarist Billy Morrison of the Royal Machines – 2018

Fun Note : As I was finishing up for this “Behind the Lens”, Billy Idol shows up on primetime ABC’s “The Goldbergs” in a clip from “The Wedding Singer”. Then the network cuts to a commercial break and runs the trailer for the movie “Transformers-Bumblebee” featuring Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. How cool is that?

Billy Idol 2018

Billy Idol and Steve Stevens – 2018

“Steve Stevens, my band and I have played Vegas many times and it’s always been a blast. We can’t stay away! Las Vegas keeps us coming back for more. Let’s make these shows at the Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort the best yet!”—Billy Idol

Billy Idol and Steve Stevens – 2018

Billy Idol – 2018

If you’re in Las Vegas, near Las Vegas, or can find a way to get to Las Vegas, then go see Billy Idol and his band at the Palms! You can thank me later… for more info click the link below.

Also check out Billy Idol and Steve Stevens on their upcoming TURNED ON, TUNED IN and UNPLUGGED Tour coming in March 2019.


See ya at the shows, Safe Travels!