He was, other than Kirk Cameron, the first man I ever loved. And now, with the electro craze and the return of the 80s, I don't have to hide the truth any more.I love Billy Idol.
And his thrusty, sneery, fist-pumpy performance at Kool Haus last week reminded me why I have never quite given up my notion, formed in the early 80, that he is the sexiest fucking man alive.
"What is it with you chicks?" my editor asked incredulously when I called offering to service I mean, my services for a story on my boyfriend Billy. "You're the third one who's called me today trying to go to this show."
Well, duh. My editor is a lesbo, so she just doesn't understand the allure of Billy, and she also didn't grow up in the 80s, when I'd glue myself to the screen to watch Toronto Rocks every day after school, praying for them to play one of Billy's dirty, dirty videos.
Rebel Yell was the first album I ever bought, plucked carefully out of the tape bins at Honest Ed's and paid for with my 10-year-old's allowance clutched in my sweaty little hand. I took it home and immediately took to writhing around on the broadloom next to my pile of Strawberry Shortcake dolls as Flesh For Fantasy pounded out on my parents' stereo. (Hmm, I thought. I feel... funny. What is Billy doing?)
So when I get the coveted Billy ticket, I writhe. Just for effect.
I go with a friend who has a five-month-old babe -- even though we are, like, still totally young, OK?! -- and is late because she's running around finding a babysitter. Teenagers ride by us on their flashy bikes, nearly running us over. They curse and sneer.
"We're going to a Billy Idol concert, you know!" my friend yells back.
When we arrive, they inform me of my photo shoot time. My photo shoot?! What was I thinking? Billy could have sneered right near me.
Now, I've interviewed my fair share of celebs in my time -- OK, seven, if you count Dalton McGuinty -- but this is the fulfillment of all my adolescent fantasies. It's like meeting Smurfette, only Billy thrusts more.
Alas, we have no camera, and I don't think "Um, Billy, can you sign my tits?" counts as proper media behaviour, so we proceed past the merch table of "In the midnight hour, she cried more, more, more" thongs and Billy Idol glow sticks (glow sticks?!!) and head into Kool Haus.
There we find a bizarre mix of 20-something alt rock victims, 30-something irony seekers and rather uncomfortable-looking 40-somethings who I guess were 22 in the 80s so they're allowed to be out this late in tribute.
Suddenly, the lights flash and there he is, in all his cryogenically preserved glory. (He looks creepily exactly the same as he did 20 years ago.) He starts chatting in that sexy, dodgy British accent of his, and the crowd starts screaming.
"I can't understand a word he's saying," my friend grumbles.
"I don't care!" I shriek, delirious. "He's talking!!"
Newer songs? Who cares. His touching little acoustic ballad to his 13-year-old son? I tune it out. I'm here to relive 1983, dammit, and Billy provides. We get up to grind during the classic fuck songs -- c'mon, that's what they are -- that we know and sit down to rest during the others.
"We haven't given up," my friend assures me. "We're just old."
"Face to face, and back to back, you see and feel, my sex attack..."
Tell me again, Billy.
Now I definitely have to go buy his Greatest Hits. And those thongs?
She wants more, more, more.