When I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to meet with the one and only Billy Idol, I couldn’t help but giggle and smile with excitement. This is a memoir of the time I met and interviewed Billy Idol prior to a fundraising concert. This was no ordinary concert however; on this special night he performed to help raise money and awareness for safe access to medical cannabis, specifically for Proposition D in Los Angeles.
“It helps people with their quality of life,
especially when they’re not feeling good.”
It was arranged for me to meet with Billy backstage before the show for a quick Q&A. Finally, someone who is open and willing to talk about his experience with Cannabis, while some artists still hide in the cannabis closet. Artists that we all know partake, but won’t speak out about it in a positive manner that helps to end the stigma. My goal for the evening; to really dig in on the cannabis questions and to get a photo with me and Billy F’n Idol! (Achieved!) After all, it’s not every day that you get to meet an Idol like this!
Currently today, the 62 year old Billy Idol is in fantastic shape and has aged well; considering that he’s had his share of life well lived during the decades of decadence in the 80’s and 90’s (read his book, it will blow your mind.) Let’s go back to 2013 and I’ll bring you forward as well on all of Idol’s latest charge on the world.
I read somewhere that you first tried cannabis at the age of 12, is this true? With that famous smirk he replied, “Yes, yes, that would be correct.” Are you a medical cannabis patient? “Yes, absolutely.” I wanted to loosen him up and throw him off a little, so I had to ask… Is cannabis the secret to your youthful energy and general hotness? He laughed and blushed, “I do like to think that could be a factor, yes.”
Billy is known for being generous with his fans and surprising them at times. I wanted to know what inspired him to get involved with the medical cannabis movement. “Well, I know a lot of people that medical cannabis has helped. It helped me a lot at one point in the mid 2000’s, during a time when I had to undergo a chemical recovery therapy for a year, the only thing that helped me get through it was having access and use of medical cannabis.” Billy continued, “I also knew this older lady, that didn’t want to get out of bed and had pretty much given up on life, so her family gave her some medical pot cookies. Within a week, she was up on her feet; eating, cooking and gardening, so she was happy. It helps people with their quality of life, especially when they’re not feeling good.”
Can singers smoke cannabis? According to his manager, Billy is very careful with his voice; he prefers to vaporize as well as ingesting edibles. He prefers sativa strains to help with pain as well as the occasional creative inspiration and indica strains for strong pain relief and good sleep. Some artists’ careers have benefited by being open about their cannabis use and others the opposite. I asked his thoughts on the subject. “I haven’t really thought much about that, but I’m not worried about it. What I mainly care about is that I’m helping a cause that I believe in, and this is my way of doing it.”
The idol doesn’t stay idle for long! In fact, he’s been a busy rocker; writing his own biography called Dancing with Myself, which is now available in paperback and also as an audio book, read by the man himself. He has spent the last two years performing for his fans for month long stints in Las Vegas at The House of Blues. Billy’s most recent album Kings & Queens of the Underground has had great critical reviews and reception. This past year he has been reaching audiences outside his fan base and staying relevant with multiple generations of music lovers when he performed Rebel Yell with Miley Cyrus at the I Heart Music Festival. Billy will be touring and performing at various music festivals this summer. He will be at BottleRock in Napa, Ca on Memorial Day weekend and also at the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar on September 16th. This enormous three-day festival introduces the audience to multiple stages, tastes, experiences, and a great variety of artists both legendary and fresh.
If you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate and see Billy Idol live and in the flesh, he can still rebel yell, like only he can. Follow Billy on Twitter @BillyIdol or visit BillyIdol.net for tour dates, videos, and more.