Chosen by Monk
As the rays of light at the end of the dark tunnel that has been the past 18 months of isolation and generally being shit upon from great heights grow brighter by the day, and life starts to return to some sense of normality, a healthy slew of new music, perhaps more than at any other time in ÜR’s history, continues to ping itself our way, and especially in the continuing tsunami of submissions we receive for our coveted ‘Video Of The Week’ award… Yes, as we’ve said on multiple occasions, one constant throughout the vagaries of inconsistent and often hard to stomach lockdowns is the amazing level of adaptive creativity that bands and video directors the length and breadth of the Überverse have continued to show, often in the most adverse of circumstances.
After viewing all of the entries – and, yes, we do watch every one of the 100-plus submissions we receive every week – at the end of the day (or night, depending on where you are in the Überverse), there could be only one winner… And this week it comes from an artist who is perhaps arguably the most commercially successful to have emerged from the punk generation, and a man possessed of one of the most distinctive snarls in the business. We are, of course, talking about the man born William Broad, but better known to the rock ‘n’ roll Überverse as Billy Idol.
This past week, Idol treated us to his first new music in seven years – and it is a release which is perhaps his most personal and introspective to date, as both musically and visually ‘Bitter Taste’ sees Idol looking back more than 30 years to the 1990 motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life.
“I think everyone has been feeling more reflective (during the pandemic). So, it seemed quite logical and natural to write something about my motorcycle accident,” Idol explains.
“Certainly, the motorcycle accident was the catharsis, the wake-up moment. A little bit of me got left on that roadside. But it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in the end; it was a wake-up call. Maybe on that roadside I left behind the irreverent, youthful Billy and opened the door for a more attentive father and a more sensitive musician.”
Certainly, Idol pulls no punches in his confrontation of the issue. One of the central images of the accompanying video clip, beautifully filmed in washed out tones, is a motorcycle lying on its side, it’s front wheel still spinning, while the man himself is shown in reflection, through windows, as he looks back on the event and the effect on his life.
‘Bitter Taste’ is the first single to be taken from Idol’s forthcoming new EP, ‘The Roadside’, which is being released via the recently reactivated Dark Horse Records – the label originally established by George Harrison in 1974 and now headed up by his son, Dhani – on 17 September.
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