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Billy Idol w/ Cherry Pie

Thursday, June 27 @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 8 p.m.

Jun. 10, 2013
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Many musicians are inspired by their school days, but not all are motivated in positive ways. Punk rocker Billy Idol was still known as William Broad when a schoolmaster in his native Middlesex, England, described him as “idle.” The name was adapted and a new persona born.

Idol was part of the Second British Invasion, a Sex Pistols devotee who performed with an early version of Siouxsie and the Banshees before helping cofound Generation X. The band, an equal blend of pop and punk, released three albums before Idol departed for New York and a solo career in 1981.

Idol’s leather-clad bad-boy image worked well with the glam-rock style of Brooklyn-born guitarist Steve Stevens, who continues to play with Idol today. During the early 1980s, the pair pumped out numerous hits, including “Dancing With Myself,” “Rebel Yell,” “Eyes Without a Face” and others.

Stevens came and went during the ensuing decades, reuniting with Idol in 2001 for a VH1 “Storytellers” segment and again for 2005’s Devil’s Playground. Since then, the pair has played numerous festivals and follows a heavy tour schedule, which includes this Summerfest date. Over the years, Idol has even taken to appearing in films, including playing himself in The Wedding Singer, which used his hit “White Wedding.”



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