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I don’t think punk ever really dies, because punk rock attitude can never die.
– Billy Idol
I’m really a singer, so I love songs and I love singing. I like rap music, but I didn’t grow up freestyling.
I don’t care what stage or what reason, as long as we’re playing.
The world goes on, you go on and you change. You want to show the fans those changes, and you want to be able to verbalize them.
They wouldn’t play my records on American radio because I had spiky hair. They said, ‘Punk rock doesn’t sell advertising, it won’t make any money.’
When I started out, everyone seemed to be adopting these names… Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious. I wasn’t really Rotten or Vicious or Nasty, so I wanted something a bit more funny – yet something that seemed real rock ‘n’ roll… something that acknowledged my ambition.
Part of the punk attitude was that you should project your music through your whole body… show your personality as much as possible.
I am quite a romantic person, really, and I should have put that into my music earlier, but I was probably denying it… I didn’t want to be soft because I felt I had to be so hard to get people to believe in me.
There was a time when my whole life was in chaos, really, and I didn’t help myself sort it out. But one day I came to my senses, and I think I was lucky because a lot of people don’t.
Rock isn’t art, it’s the way ordinary people talk.
My hair used to be real long, and my parents were encouraged when I cut it. They thought I was going ‘straight,’ but I was just getting weirder – at least in their eyes. I was getting into the punk thing.
I love it when someone insults me. That means that I don’t have to be nice anymore.
I think love’s exciting and happy, as well as being able to make you sad.
The biggest misconception people have about me is that I’m stupid.
My dad was one of the reasons I got into rock and roll, because I was learning the ropes of his business, which was selling powertools, and I was looking for a way out from under his heel. I was like, ‘Where’s the fun? Where’s the glamour?’
I’m not trying to hide from my past. I want to roll in it. Like a dog, rolling in feces, I’m rolling in the feces of my greatest hits – that’s a bit of a wild way of looking at it, but I am a man, and we do like rolling in our own feces at times.
It’s like, what happened, I was always leading fashion, and then the grunge thing kind of came along. And because I’ve been so on top in the ’80s you know, I, you know, what can I do? Suddenly go grunge?
It doesn’t matter about money; having it, not having it. Or having clothes, or not having them. You’re still left alone with yourself in the end.
I rocked the cradle of love.
I’m not talking with an American accent. I haven’t gone off and become Sammy Hagar.
If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.