Billy Idol T-Shirts

: Phil Nicholls

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Billy Idol photographed by Phil Nicholls

Photoshoot: 25 July 1990
Location: London, UK

Shot here by photographer Phil Nicholls for the cover of Melody Maker. Billy Idol was sitting on a chair, unable to stand after a motorbike accident in Los Angeles that nearly cost him his leg. Uncharacteristically with eyes closed and looking serene, rather than the lip-curling snarl that was almost his signature pose in front of a camera, Phil has captured an extremely rare moment in Idol’s career and visual imagery.

Billy Idol shot to fame in the early 80s after moving to New York city to embark on his solo career. His second album Rebel Yell in 1983, established him firmly as a solo artist in his own right, despite his former band, Generation X, having been one of the first punk bands ever to be broadcast live on British television programme Top Of The Pops.

Responsible for tunes embedded in the psyche of anyone older than 40, Billy Idol’s catalogue includes hits White Wedding, Hot In The City, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, and Flesh For Fantasy. He also covered the timeless classic, Monie Monie. Signed to record labels, Chrysalis and EMI, Idol (real name: William Michael Albert Broad), was one of the superstars of his era for both his ability to record great tunes and his stand-out visual image.

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