May 12, 2015


My kids go to a relatively swanky private school in LA. I'm a public school brat and I'm still of the belief that private schools are a waste of money. But my wife pays for it so...

Anyway as you'd imagine in LA there are Hollywood types at our school so we have some interesting encounters. As with all years there's a fund raiser. Which to my public school mind seems rather insane. Why does a richy private school need to raise money. Aren't we already paying an arm and a leg for not guarantee of academic performance? I digress again.

The fundraiser in the past has been swanky. The items on auction are usual palatial mansions for bid and private jets to here and there. We never win because we're so cheap. But usually the entertainment has lacked a little. Until this year.

Two parents, Sharon Stone and LL Cool J were the MCs. That alone was kind of fun. But one of the parents must be an agent or something and we got a live acoustic set from Billy Idol.

Now I'm a big Billy Idol fan. He hasn't put out much lately but as a kid in the 80s he was one of my favorite artists. In particular some of the later albums, when he had lost some of his fame are really good. I figured he'd come on stage with a backing band and sing a few songs and be gone. What I didn't expect that it was an acoustic set and it was just him and Steve Stevens. I didn't expect Stevens to be there at all. Steve Stevens for all the 80s pop songs he's known for is actually an extremely talented musician.

He was born in Brooklyn, like all great artists, and started playing guitar when he was 7. He toiled in NY for a while doing studio work for some seriously shitty artists like Peter Criss (KISS fame). He eventually hooked up with Idol in the 80s where he made his name. He's done some notable side projects - Michael Jackson's Dirty Diana, a Ric Ocasek album, a Robert Palmer album, and a Thompson Twins album. But on a solo basis he's probably best known for the Top Gun Anthem (yes that Top Gun). And oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, he's an accomplished Flamenco guitarist. 

Anyway. The two of them on stage for four songs was a real treat. Idol still has his voice and Stevens sounded great on an acoustic guitar. 

While I'm here I really think his new song is very good.

No comments: