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Billy Idol Continues To Revitalize His "Thing"

Of the Oakland Press

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Billy Idol is eight years into “trying to revitalize this thing” — that being the rock ’n’ roll career he launched in 1976 with the British punk band Generation X and parlayed into a successful solo run in the ’80s.

After the inevitable commercial dip, Idol has been busy re-establishing himself, an effort that’s included a cameo in Adam Sandler’s 1998 comedy “The Wedding Singer,” episodes of VH1’s “Behind the Music” and “Storytellers,” a “Greatest Hits” set in 2001 and, last year, an all-new album, “Devil’s Playground.”

“I’m just trying to put my best foot forward,” says Idol, 50, who was born William Broad.“I don’t feel old.‘White Wedding’ has never felt like, ‘Oh my God, this is an old song. ‘Rebel Yell’ has never felt like it’s an old song. Maybe that happens to other people,‘Oh, these songs are old,’ but every night these feel alive and living to me.”

Idol’s next project is concert DVD, which he’s fi lming tonight in Chicago. He’s already cooking up material for his next album, and now that he’s “not drinking like I used to,” he feels like only good things are ahead of him.

“These days I’m a little bit more aware that I do want to be on the stage, loving the world, and I do want to do this job,” he says. “I love doing this job. It’s great fun. My fans are a crazy bunch of wild people; If I don’t turn up, I don’t know what they’d do.”

Billy Idol performs 7:30 p.m. Monday (July 31st) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

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