Label: Sanctuary Records
Released: March 22, 2005
Produced: Keith Forsey
Billy Idol – vocals
Steve Stevens – guitar
Stephen McGrath – bass
Derek Sherinian – keyboards
Brian Tichy – percussion, drums
Julian Beeston – drum programming
1. Super Overdrive (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:18
2. World Comin’ Down (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:33
3. Rat Race (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 4:17
4. Sherri (Billy Idol) – 3:17
5. Plastic Jesus (Ed Rush; George Cromarty) – 4:53
6. Scream (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:42
7. Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:14
8. Romeo’s Waiting (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 3:42
9. Body Snatcher (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:57
10. Evil Eye (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:32
11. Lady Do or Die (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 4:37
12. Cherie (Billy Idol; Brian Tichy) – 3:47
13. Summer Running (Billy Idol; Steve Stevens) – 4:30
My favorite track here is Plastic Jesus, it’s kind of slow, and a bit bluesy. My five-year-old Son likes Rat Race, it starts out slow, but speeds up and gets crazy. This album is the type of music that bands like Social Distortion, and a lot of the current crop of “punk” bands are trying to make. It’s street rock, with the sound of experience behind it. Some people have a chip on their shoulder about Billy Idol, because he experienced success in the ‘80’s. So? While his records were on the charts he was dancing naked on a Hollywood hotel balcony in a heroin stupor. Not punk enough? While his videos were being played on MTV, he was racing his motorcycle on the highway, crashing and almost killing himself. Still not punk enough? While you were still breast-feeding Billy was hanging out in England with Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious and Siouxie Sioux. Now who’s’ punk?
Devil’s Playground is the sixth full-length studio album by Billy Idol, and features his first newly recorded material in about a decade. The album also reunited Idol in the studio with guitarist Steve Stevens. All songs were written or co-written by Idol, except Plastic Jesus.
Idol, and band supported the album with a world tour of rock festival appearances in 2005, and 2006, including performances on the Vans Warped Tour. The album clocks in at just under an hour, it’s good to workout to.
With all the problems with Sanctuary Records, who knows if he’ll release anything this good again.
If you get the chance to get a copy, go do it.
Rating: *** three out of three stars
On to the story . . .
The beginning of 1986, was a lonely time for me. I was out of High School for over a year and a half, and had no girlfriend, I had graduated from Barber School six months earlier, my family life was strained (to put it nicely), and I was directionless. Once I got out of Barber School, I realized I didn’t want to cut hair anymore. I still did dozens of local punk, and metal kids in my garage for $5.00 a pop, but I didn’t want to stand in a shop all day wearing a white smock.
I ended up taking a day job at Taco Bell cutting up vegetables in the back for eight hours a day. My first day on the job (training day) I was told to change my clothes in the storage closet in the back, and leave my clothes in my duffle bag. Midway through my shift this gay hype (and coworker) went through my bag and stole the only cash I had to my name, $7.00. The manager felt bad, he gave me $5.00, and all the food I could carry home. This job was already starting to look like a mistake.
Originally I worked at the Taco Bell at Reseda and Vanowen, then they transferred me to the Reseda and Ventura location, once it was built. They thought I was reliable (I never called in sick). While most of the people I went to school with were quickly making their way through their parents businesses, I had stalled. I would run into people and I’d lie, I would say I’m working at a Mexican Restaurant in Encino. It sounded better – to me. I was found out about a month later, as I was hauling trash to the dumpster, an old schoolmate was in the drive-thru, spotted me. He said “Mexican restaurant, huh?” All I could say was “yep.”
It was around this time that I was approached by another stalker.
I used to walk from Victory and White Oak to Reseda and Ventura, almost, everyday, it was a little under two miles each way. And sure enough about once a week this guy in a blue Buick Skylark used to slow down and offer me a ride. He was very pushy about it. It crept me out. Finally one day I decided to either punch him out or get in his car and push him out of the car and drive it into the Sepulveda Basin.
So, I’m walking down Vanowen heading towards Reseda, and in the corner of my eye I see this fucking blue car tailing me again. And I wait for it “Hey man, need a ride?” I say “yeah.” As I approach his car door I notice a bunch of textbooks with Pierce College book covers on them in his back seat, so I blurt out “weird, I’ve never seen you at Pierce before.” I don’t know what it was about me saying this, but he freaked out, and sped off so fast it almost spun me around.
I guess I exposed him, or let him know I could track him down if I needed to.
I didn’t see this guy again for over three months. Then one night I’m sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, house is empty, and I’m extremely bored. So, I decide to call the Mann Theatre in Tarzana and see what’s playing, I can’t remember what it was, but I decided to walk those couple of miles and see something. I got there and there was huge line wrapped around in front of the theatre, and everyone was about my age and on dates. Shit, this depressed me even more. I couldn’t stand in line and sit in the theatre with these people. I was feeling very loserish.
So, I started to walk back home. I’d see what was on TV, and like a fat broad I’d drown my sorrows in food. So, I’m trekking back down Reseda, and a car pulls along side me, and in a faint whisper says “excuse, me do you know how to get . . .” I know this trick, if you survived the punk scene, survived public schools, or just life in general, you get this. So, I yelled back “I can’t hear speak up,: and continued walking. He pulls along side of me again, and starts the whisper again “Oh, OK can you help me find . . .” At this point I’m a little nervous, and pissed. It’s after 10:00pm on a Friday, if I had friends I wouldn’t be able to find them at this time, I’m alone here, so what’s my next move?
So, I yell at the guy, “Sorry, but if you’re going to keep whispering like a bitch, I can’t help you, move the fuck on.” The guy drives off, turns off his lights, and parks his car about a block up. Now, I’m beyond amped, I’m damn near crawling out of my skin. I’m walking all the way over to the right side along the buildings, not on the sidewalk, I want to see if this guy gets out or tries something. When I’m about a car away, his door starts to open, so I pick up a handful of white decorative rocks from a planter in front of the apartment I’m at, and hurl them towards his head. I start yelling “If you get out of that car I’ll pull your fucking head off and stuff you in your fucking trunk. And your Mother’s next.” Why the Mother part? I don’t know. After a lifetime of public schools Mothers always get a mention in a fight.
Anyway, the guy jumps back into his car and peels out. I kept throwing rocks, hitting the car each time. I stopped after my last three throws missed.
I got home thirty minutes later, couldn’t find any food in the house, ate a half a bottle of Bacon-bits, and watched the last hour of Bugsy Malone. After all Jodie Foster was my first crush, I was 12 and I remember wishing I was Bugsy Malone. All was OK, until the next day.
LAST ONE TO DIE is officially out, order at: https://www.createspace.com/3669330.