CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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Found 4 posts tagged ‘billy idol’

March 22, 2020 (permalink)

This image reminds of a great song recorded poorly by two fantastic singers.  The extraordinarly touching song "Don't You Forget About Me" was written for but rejected by Billy Idol, and Simple Minds got pressured into recording it, quite against their will.  Years later, Idol finally recorded his own version, and it fails just as badly.  Though we adore both Billy Idol and Simple Minds' Jim Kerr, neither vocalist did the song justice because, apparently, neither could relate to the sentiment.  The song is about the devastation of being made invisible on the street, by a former friend or lover who walks past without deigning a glance.  Perhaps the two singers, being unforgettable themselves, simply can't relate to the feeling of being forgotten, obliterated.  The lyrics mention how "rain keeps falling," and (news flash to Jim and Billy) it's not welcome news for the crops—it's an expression of gloom, depression, despair.  Both Kerr's and Idol's vocal performances improve a bit by the end of the song (each performance seems to be a single take; nobody dedicated much time to these recordings), but it's too little, too late.  Plus, Idol (bless him) gives us his bedroom voice, as if there never was that breakup that the whole song is about, saying "Will you call my name" as if he wants some positive feedback during lovemaking.  It's a hilarious interpretation of the song, and very Billy Idol to be sure, but woefully clueless.  We love you both, Jim and Billy!  Why did you both hate this great song so much?
"Yesterday he was you pal.  What about today?"  From The Film Daily, 1932.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#vintage illustration #billy idol #don't you forget about me #simple minds
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January 13, 2020 (permalink)

There's one weird trick that Billy Idol uses to give his songs longevity (and possibly immortality).  Do you see it in the first lines of "Eyes Without a Face"?
I'm all out of hope
One more bad break
could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me you're alone
The key word that might have jumped out at you is "fall."  The listener's ear expects a rhyme with "hope," but Idol resists forcing a rhyme and instead tells the truth.  In other words, he opens his song by revealing his honesty in no uncertain terms.  He demonstrates that he isn't merely crafting a catchy jingle (those are flashes in the pan; "Eyes Without a Face" has been broadcast and covered by other artists for well-over three decades).  He sings the word he means, not just any word that happens to make the lines rhyme.  He seems to sacrifice poetry, but he accomplishes something more deeply poetic and, crucially, he communicates something that feels profoundly real.  He exposes himself (pun intended, if you'll recall some of his scandalously skimpy outfits) as the very opposite of a snake charmer: he isn't there to beguile his listener with hypnotic phrases; rather, he treats his listener as a confidant and expresses his vulnerabilities in a spirit of complete trust.  Obviously, this level of respect for the listener and this sort of candor transform the song into an ageless classic.  Note that Idol's following lines all rhyme (home / phone / alone), which is his deliberate way of drawing attention to the exceptional word. 
Idol's next lines offer three "near rhymes," adding sonic richness:
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release
As Idol sings in his masterpiece "Catch My Fall," "I've trusted and then broken my own word."  He trusts his listeners and then breaks his own rhymes.  That song, too, begins with Idol's one weird trick for perenniality:
I have the time 
so I will sing
I'm just a boy
but I will win
The words "sing" and "win" are not even "near rhymes."  Like Idol's signature raised fist, this is his upstandingness, saying what he means and not what's tidy.
This winning technique is easily perceived in Idol's famous "White Wedding," too:
Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who's the only one?
Hey little sister, who's your superman?
Hey little sister, who's the one you want?
Hey little sister, shotgun!
Idol's "done / won" setup leads the listener to expect a rhyme to follow "superman."  Instead, Idol sings the word "want."  This makes "superman" the standout word of the stanza, since all the other line endings cleanly rhyme or near-rhyme (done / one / want / gun).
> read more from The Right Word . . .
#billy idol #song lyics #rhyming
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January 5, 2020 (permalink)

Did Billy Idol foresee Uber Eats 31 years in advance of its debut?  Of course he did!  In the bridge of 1983's "Rebel Yell," Idol sings:
He lives in his own heaven
Collects it to go from the 7-11
Well he's out all night to collect a fare
Just so long, just so long it don't mess up his hair
> read more from Precursors . . .
#billy idol #uber eats #takeout
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December 31, 2019 (permalink)

A special request to those of you who rend the fabric of space-time and generate alternate timelines: please create a reality in which Billy Idol takes Kiefer Sutherland's role as lead lost boy vampire in The Lost Boys, as well as the role of mad-scientist-built Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as the "pleasure model" replicant Pris in Bladerunner (you didn't think we'd suggest replacing Rutger Hauer, surely).  We would also welcome Billy Idol in the role intended for him before a motorcycle accident forced recasting: the shapeshifting android assassin T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  Why not Billy Idol replacing Sting in David Lynch's Dune?  That's simple: David Lynch's Dune should never have happened in this or any other universe.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#billy idol
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Original Content Copyright © 2020 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.