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Crack your back and your Kalki checked rucksacks, you jam Slattery's. Welcome to the Blind Bye podcast. If this is your first podcast and you're a new listener, go back to an earlier episode. Don't start with this one. OK. There's just too much for you to take in at this time, and that's OK if you're a regular listener, what's the crack? I'm up late record and this one I've just used to retinol ice cream on my eyelids to lubricate my blinking.
And so this week's podcast is. It's a it's kind of a music podcast and it's kind of a philosophical hot tech podcast, I'm not quite sure. I think it's going to be a shortish podcast, but I always say that and then they're not. But we'll see how it goes. This is going to be music podcast, part philosophy podcast, 100 percent podcast, Hoak.
OK, so. My days are currently taken up mostly with my Twitter stream. And which is my latest venture, my latest venture on this pandemic, several times a week, I livestream at Nighttime's, I make music playing video games. Playing a video game career, Dead Redemption, and I'm writing and performing a live musical to the events that are happening in the game and recording this live and putting it out live to an audience to watch that TV would slash to blame by podcast.
You can see it tonight at half nine if you want. I'm doing this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 10. But anyway. Most of you have probably gotten a squinted at so far are seeing some of the videos of what I'm doing and. For one thing, it's making me notice is so I'm I'm able to play musical instruments, life, OK, so I can play guitar, I can play bass, I wish I was better.
A piano. I'm OK at piano. I wish I was better. I can do percussion, but because I'm doing this as a live stream and people are watching.
I have to the scale I have to develop. Is I have to become more rapid and quicker as. How quickly I reached the desired set of notes, if I'm writing a fucking song life, I'm trying to write a song. Life songwriting as a process, it takes a long time because I've got a guitar or a keyboard and I'm messing around with cards to find the right ones to make a song. But watching someone messing around with cards isn't particularly entertaining to watch.
So I have to write songs but also make it entertaining. To write songs, which is something new. And the key to that is how can I get to the best cards? As quick as possible. So what I've been doing is really learning music theory, especially with piano. Just sharpening up my skills. And thinking back to when I first learned how to play guitar and first learned how to play piano in order to do it. And it was in doing this, in learning music theory and.
Learning about things like scarers, learning about cards on the piano, stuff that I hadn't thought about in many, many years because I didn't have to. Going back to that, brought up like childhood memories for me in particular with guitar, so I first learned how to play guitar when I was about four or five years of age because one of my older brothers, who was very much into the music and was a musician. Just made sure I was able to play guitar, he he himself was a musician, and he used to notice that I would as a little child, I would respond quite actively to music.
I would get very excited about hearing. T Rex or David Bowie or whatever was playing on the radio, so he was able to notice. That I was responding to music. So he got me to learn guitar when I was four or five years of age. Now, I learned this, I remember I remember being five years of age and my fingers bleeding, playing guitar, which is anyone who learns guitar finger bleeding, is is that something you have to do?
Your fingers have to bleed if you're learning guitar and practice and then your fingers toughen up.
And I was learning guitar at that age.
Then I gave it up. And I only properly relearned the guitar, then I had about 16 when I was about eight or nine, I started learning piano.
Plus. Work out what it got me thinking about was the first, and I'd forgotten about this completely, the first ever guitar that I owned. So when I was four or five years of age.
And my brother was like, OK, I got to teach him how to play guitar, but he's fucking tiny. He's a little child, how he can't hold my adult sized guitar, so now I got to get him a child sized guitar. So my brother went about procuring a child sized guitar. And. This is where the story gets gets odd, and it's something I'd kind of I'd forgotten this from my memory and it's something I don't actually say to people either, because it's a fact that's so bizarre.
It sounds like I'm lying and that it's the type of lie that makes me sound unhinged. And I remember that this week. And that's what I want to talk about before I get into what it is specifically.
I did a podcast before. On a very special campus that was in my house when I was growing up, right. I did a full podcast on this campus. So my father, as I mentioned, he. Used to work in Shannon Airport, he had a desk job in Shannon Airport Customer Service. And this would have been he was working there since the 60s, so he he was working at Shannon Airport 60s, 70s, 80s and I think early 90s.
And the thing with Shannon Airport, which is it's not in Limerick, but it's Limerick is the closest city to Shannon Airport. Shannon Airport used to be very, very important internationally, especially since in the 60s, 70s and 80s, because Shannon Airport is the most western airport in Europe. And. If you flew from America to Europe in the 60s, you had to stop in Shannon Airport, you had to all right, there was no way to get from New York to Germany or wherever without stopping in Shannon Airport.
So Shannon Airport was a very, very important airport. It's not important anymore. Unfortunately, the only thing that's keeping Shannon Airport open is U.S. military flights, which I don't agree with and a lot of people don't agree with. But there was once a time when all passenger flights from the US had to stop and Shannon Airport, which meant, my dear.
Met a lot of famous people in his day to their job. He met a lot of very anyone who was famous in the 60s, 70s and 80s was in Shannon Airport, assuming they left America and went to Europe or vice versa. They brought in Shannon Airport like Michael Jackson, the Pope, Bob Dylan, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Mother Teresa.
Che Guevara, David Bowie, Kate Bush, everyone was in Shannon Airport, and if they were really famous, they went to the VIP lounge in Shannon Airport. So one day. The VIP lounge were getting a new carpet. And my dad went to the workman. And said, what are you doing with the in the VIP lounge, like you're ripping it up? Now, this was a really good, good quality car, but this was 100 percent wool carpet would have been very, very expensive, far more expensive than what my dad could afford.
And he went to the workers who were pulling up the carpet and said, what are you doing with it? And the lad said, we're trying to escape. So he said, can I have the carpet? And they said, go on, take the carpet. So he took the carpet. Got it, got a lawn of a van or something, took the carpet from the Shannon Airport VIP lounge, took it back to my house and put the carpet in the front room of my house.
And I was a little child and.
I he used to say to me and my brothers would say to me, because this was the carpet in the room where my music was listened to. He would say. Every famous person you can think of has stood in our living room carpet. Michael Jackson stood there, Bob Dylan stood there, David Bowie stood there, and when I was a little child listening to music in that front room, I would visualize I'd be listening to. T Rex or David Bowie, when I was a little kid and I'd be touching the carpet going, not only am I listening to this incredible music, but they stood here.
And then I used to go to school and tell the teachers that the pope stood on my carpet, that Michael Jackson stood on my carpet and I'd get in trouble because I sounded mad. But it was true, it was a fact a famous carpet was in my living room because my dad got it out of the airport, it's now gone. A square of it remains. My mother uses it to line the back of the boat of her car. I think I did a full podcast on this carpet.
But three years ago, the reason I gave the full story to it there is because not everyone's been listening to this podcast in its entirety.
Well, that's not that's not a fact. I just kind of throw out and like I said, I grew up being chastised for that fact because it's not very believable. It's very strange, you know, but it's true. The other fact and I just remember it this fuckin week.
And this is what is going to inspire this week's podcast. So taking it back there to my first ever guitar when I was a child, right? So my brother wanted me to learn how to play guitar, but he didn't have a child's guitar to give me. And he'd been like fuckin 19, my parents didn't have a lot of money, he wasn't going into town buying me a Chinese guitar, so he took it upon himself to figure out how can I get a Chinese guitar?
So he called over to his friend's house. And whatever way the conversation was going, the friend happens to have a guitar upstairs. It was child's guitar. So my brother was like. Fuck it, can it can I have the child's guitar and the friend was a bit apprehensive going. OK, I'll give you a guitar, but will you mind this?
And my brother's like, yeah, cause I mean it look, it's just it's just from my little brother. I want him to be able to learn guitar on a child's guitar and you have a child's guitar and nothing's happening with it. Can I just have it? So the friend went OK. Yeah, boss, I think it's a really important guitar. And my brother was like, what do you mean? And he goes, well, you know who, I'm a cousin with an Islam limerick now, and my brother goes, Yeah, Billy Idol.
You know, he's one of the most famous people in the world. And that's your party base. This is Lemrick. I think everybody knows that your cousin is Billy Idol and Billy Idol.
Billy Idol was this artist in the 1980s. Who this would have been the early 90s when this conversation is happening, Billy Idol, one of the biggest artists in the world of the 1980s, you definitely know he's got a song. What is it? The white wedding. Nice day for a white wedding. And he's got a song called Rebel Yell. Billy Idol was huge.
He was part of what's known as the second British invasion, which is when when MTV became a thing in America in the early 80s, you had bands like Dire Straits and Duran Duran, the police and Billy Idol, where English artists who became huge and it was the second British invasion because the first one would have been the 60s when you had the Kinks in the Beatles becoming huge in America. But. Billy Idol, anyway. Is like half Irish rice and his ma or something is Irish.
And members of the family happen to live in Limerick, and my brother was friends at one of them. So the gate, he came back to the house to me with this guitar, this little guitar. And he just said, this is Billy Idol's childhood guitar. And it's just a regular. Like acoustic guitar and there were some drawings on it and stuff, but the first guitar I ever received was the guitar you were going to learn how to play music on.
Is Billy Idol's childhood guitar. And again, this was another thing I would go into school and say to the teachers, I'm I'm learning guitar on Billy Idol's guitar and then they'd go, IIIA and the pope was on your carpet as well. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And they just think I was a strange little child. But no, I actually, in my gaf had a carpet that Michael Jackson and the pope stood on. And my first guitar as a child was Billy Idol, as far as I know.
All right. As far as I know. My brother's friend is most definitely his first cousin, without a doubt. And he said this guitar. Now, here's the thing, if you're listening to this, knowing you're going blind by your Mac and she don't know because you want podcast content, I'm not. I'm not. Let's look at the facts here. For a fact, my brother's friend is Billy IDAs, first cousin for a fact raised. The friend is saying this guitar somehow made its way over to Ireland, probably a cousin or an uncle or someone was like, that's Billy Idol's childhood guitar.
Can I have it? And then someone said, Yeah, you can both. I have strong reason to believe that this is Billy Idol's childhood guitar. You can't do a DNA test on a guitar. It's a child's guitar. It's old. And I have reason, strong reason to believe that this is Billy Idol's childhood guitar. And I still have it because it's in my mother's attic. I hadn't thought about that fucking guitar until this week. When I'm learning music theory and when I'm really learning music theory and going back to when I first learned instruments, it just this memory come up.
I was like, oh fuck. I remember being a little child playing guitar and my fingers playing. The first song I ever learned was. It was Eddie Cochran, was it what the fuck was it? Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran. Because it's just a straight blues song and I would have been obsessed with T. Rex McPaul and who had a cover of Summertime Blues, and my brother taught me that on guitar and I was able to play summertime blues by the time I was five.
And then I start playing Guitar Papillae IDRs Troilo guitar. And I still have it was my childhood guitar. I can't confirm 100 percent, but I have strong reason to believe that it is. So after ruminating on this. I just kind of got thinking, fucking hell, what's Billy, I'd love to, you know, because I hadn't thought about Billy Idol in a long time, I vaguely remember his songs because I would have been an athlete like a baby in the 80s.
And then I'm kind of like. Just think in your day, fuck it, he was fucking huge and then he kind of disappeared. I wonder what happened. I wonder what happened to Billy Idol that he just. You don't hear about him anymore. I mean, the last I heard a Billy Idol was maybe 10 years ago when I was playing a game called Grand Theft Auto, Vice City and White Wedding was on the soundtrack. And that was the last I heard of Billy Idol.
He made a cameo in a film called The Wedding Singer with Adam Sandler around 1998. But that. Haven't heard much from Billy Idol, and it made me. Went to Wikipedia him, made me want to check him out. Just just just to wonder, how does someone go from being. You two are Michael Jackson, big to. With all due respect, kind of being forgotten about, I mean, I don't mean that in a mean way, but you don't hear his name being brought up an awful lot, OK?
And I mean that with all due respect. So I wondered, how does that happen? How do you go from.
Being one of the biggest artists in the world to not being one of the biggest artists of the world suddenly. I'm a very curious person, I'm very passionate about music. If you've listened to my music podcasts, you know that I'll research and think about music. At a very great depth. All right, I have a tolerance for I have a fascination with music and music culture that goes beyond the level, what most people would just think that it's getting boring now.
And I'm like, no, no, no, no, I need to go further. I need to go farther. So I fell into a fucking hole and about 2:00 in the morning the other night finding out what happened to Billy Idol and. The answer is fucking fascinating, it's fascinating and it's incredibly relevant, and that's what I want to do. This week's podcast on the answers that I found fascinated me. So. Billy Idol was was. Massive up until about 1991, and then it's like something happened in 1992 where.
He just he did a huge gamble and it didn't work, and then that was enough for him to stop being huge and for him to slowly fade into.
I don't like obscurities mean he stopped being Michael Jackson famous and went just went a bit quiet.
And one thing I do remember when I received his childhood guitar around that period is. I remember my brother talking about Billy Idol being in. A car crash, no, no, no, no. A motorbike crash and him being very injured and I remember him speaking about it because his family in Ireland were worried because it was quite a serious motorcycle crash and he was very lucky to escape it alive. And I do remember that being a child.
So when Billy Idol was in this motorbike crash and it made shade of his legs race.
He was recovering for quite a long time. If you've got a very badly broken legs you're talking about, it's a you're you're a year out of circulation, you're six months sitting down with casts on your legs, another six months properly recuperating. That was the extent of the injuries that Billy Idol had. And this would have been about 1991.
So when Billy Idol was recovering from his broken leg, he did an interview with a journalist. Now, another thing about this podcast is there's going to be two instances in this podcast of what's known as nominative determinism, which is one of my favorite things. I love it when it happens. Nominative determinism is when a person's name are second name. Their name determines that person's career or achievements in some way. Right. And it's rare. But this podcast has got two relevant instances of it.
The first one is this. So Billy Idol 1991 is recovering with a broken leg and he does an interview. With a journalist and music journalist whose name happens to be Legs McNeil, and while Billy Idol is lying with his legs. A stray in front of him broken the journalist legs, McNeil notices that Billy Idol, as part of his recuperation, has got pads on his legs that are called Ms. Pads electric muscle stimulator. You might remember. Fifteen years ago.
On TV are in the Argos catalogue. They used to sell these things that was like electric pads that you put on your belly and you don't have to do any exercise. You just turn them on and they work your muscles and you'll get a six pack. But just plug in these these pads onto your belly. Right. That's EMS. It's EMS is, you know, people sending them to work and grow our muscles. I think they're bullshitting. But EMS is used for someone with a broken leg.
If someone has a broken leg and it's been in a cast for six months and that leg, the muscle wears away on the leg to the point that the person might have difficulty even walking because they no longer have the strength in their muscles to hold their body up. MS is used to strengthen that muscle without exercise. So the pad is on the leg and it sends an electrical charge to the muscle which stimulated and can cause growth. So Billy Idol has his legs up talking to a man called Legs.
With electronic pads on his legs and legs says to him, those things that are on your legs and this is during an interview, those things that are on your legs make you look like a cyborg. It's very cyberpunk. And then Billy Idol says, wha what is he talking about, legs and legs, because your your legs are very cyberpunk.
You're like a cyborg. You're like half man, half machine, you know, but those pads, I didn't mean anything by it. Just you look like a cyborg.
So the interview finishes and then Billy Idol is like cyberpunk, focused, cyberpunk. That sounds pretty cool. Focused at. And the thing is now with Billy Idol, Billy Idol is image, so Billy Idol started off in the 70s as an actual punk.
He would have been late 70s, part of the British punk movement of which the Sex Pistols were involved. He was in a band called Generation X and Billy Idol. His roots are that of an authentic, genuine punk and punk was all about DIY aesthetics. Rejecting record labels, rejecting punk was a rejection of like in Britain. Anyway, punk was very working class like Billy.
Billy Idol is a Working-Class English man and a fuckin, you know, half Irish working class Englishman and. Punk was a working class DIY movement in Britain that was very much a reaction to progressive rock, which in Britain at the time, by the late 70s, prog rock was very middle class, if not upper class. Prog rock musicians were middle class, posh kids that had been trained in classically trained in oboe and violin since they were kids because they'd been to private school and that was part of their education.
So you had bands like not so much Pink Floyd, but like Emerson, Lake and Palmer and yes, Rick Wakeman. And they were very accomplished, virtuous virtuoso musicians doing this huge stadium rock. But it didn't say anything to the working class youth of Britain. So punk came out of that as a rejection. It's like we don't need to be able to be virtuosos on violins. We just need a guitar and three chords and we can set up our own gig in a pub and we don't need a record label.
And that's punk. And Billy Idol was part of that movement in the late 70s. But Billy Idol got famous in the 80s by appropriating the image of punk. So, like, if you think of White Wedding and Billy Idol stuff, what he became huge. And MTV is part of the second British invasion. It was it that wasn't punk, that's pop rock, but he looked like a punk. He looked like. A healthy, well-fed version of Sid Vicious are Johnny Rotten and enough rebellion about him that it would piss off your parents, but goodlooking enough that you'd get a huge amount of screaming female fans.
So it was the pop iconic appropriation of punk aesthetics for the MTV generation, and that was Billy Idol thing in the 80s. But with all due respect, he's rooted in genuine 19 late 1970s British punk. So Billy Idol is lying there with his leg and legs. The journalist says to him, You look like a cyborg. This is very cyberpunk. When the interview was over, Billy Idol couldn't stop thinking about that word.
Cyberpunk. The punk part is what stuck with him is like cyberpunk. The fuck is that? So, Danny, when finding out what Cyberpunk is while he's laid flat with these fucking pad stuck into his body, now this is 1992, believe it is possibly the biggest musician in the world, definitely in the top 10. And he's now obsessing about cyberpunk, now cyberpunk.
I could do a whole separate podcast on it, which I probably will at one point.
But I'm going to give you a brief overview of what it is. Cyberpunk is two things, it's a genre of science fiction. By 1992, it was also very much kind of a movement. Am a movement of people trying to live their lives as cypherpunks, but just from a science fiction point of view, Blade Runner is cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction, which is dystopian. Dystopian means that it was. Science fiction, about a near enough future thing with Cyberpunk is, is cyberpunk science fiction was very much it.
Right now, 20-20 Blade Runner is set in 2019. Cyberpunk is about now, 2020 post millennium. And it was. You can trace its roots to French comic books from the 1970s and Philip K. Dick, who wrote Blade Runner and.
An English writer called J.G. Ballard. And the most quintessential cyberpunk science fiction writer is William Gibson. William Gibson wrote a book called. Neuromancer. Which is it's the genre defining cyberpunk novel, I believe, in the early 80s, which is about. It's about a hacker, it's a it's about a hacker who I think takes on giant corporations or something. And 1982, a tabletop game comes out called Cyberpunk 20/20, which is heavily influenced by the work of William Gibson and I.
There's there's the Blade Runner Cyberpunk, which is cyborgs. And what does it mean to be human? And then there's the William Gibson's cyberpunk, which is is it satirical? It's. The early Internet plays a huge part in William Gibson's style cyberpunk, the early Internet, the, I suppose, cyber and punk.
What it is, is. A dystopian vision of the future whereby governments are replaced by corporations rights and the corporations control and own freedom because they control technology and the cyber punks are rebellious outlaws who use the technology of the corporations against them, too, like a Robin Hood, its Robin Hood, but with. An early version of the Internet and cyberpunk like cyberpunk, pretty much really did, it really protects right now.
Really, really does. I'm. I mean, it's huge influences for cyberpunk. The early Internet Reagonomics, early 80s, the policies of both Reagan and Thatcher in the U.K., what do you see around then? You see the creeping neo liberalism. What is neo liberalism? Neo liberalism is when a government, instead of running things through public services, instead of, we say, hospitals being run by the government, the government instead hands the hospitals over to private corporations.
And this you really the started this aggressively in the 1980s with Thatcher and Reagan. So these fears of our FOK, if they are not stopped, what's it going to be like in 2020? Will the corporations become more powerful than governments and will they run everything? And. Yeah. Yeah, they have look at the last election there. Donald Trump, look at. Look at the Fokin Briggs's look at the role that Facebook and Google and how these things were exploited by hackers.
Look at how this has shaped our political landscape today, I'm. There are strong reason to believe that Brexit exists and Donald Trump is in power because of outside interference. By Russian hackers are, if they're not Russian, someone else who managed to spread disinformation on Facebook and Google and things like that, which convinced people and now our trust in what is real information and what is what is trustworthy information and what isn't trustworthy, we can't do it anymore because the Internet has been exploited by.
Sources that want to confuse us so that right there there's your cyberpunk dystopia we're living in right now. OK, the corporations, which are Facebook and Google, don't give a fuck. Facebook and Google want our data. Our data is the most important commodity in the world right now. It's more more important than petrol. It's more important than gold data. What is data? Data is our phones record every single aspect of our behavior. This is recorded and sold as information, which is valuable.
So that's our data. We're living in a cyberpunk future. We're living in the cyberpunk dystopia right now. OK, so it got it right. Hackers and.
Big corporations and data is shaping quite a shape in our reality. OK, like even right now what I'm doing with my life right now. You know, in my studio right now, which is. Like, I've got neon lights all over the place, I'm consciously I've consciously embraced the cyberpunk aesthetic in my studio because I grew up watching Blade Runner. I love cyberpunk aesthetics. So visually, my studio, ironically, looks like a cyberpunk 20/20 setting. But in an ironically.
There's a global pandemic right now, which means that I have my livestream and setup, looks like it's out of a science fiction film from 1992. I've got multiple monitors hooked up on pulleys and cables with several cameras snaking out of these arms, and I have this. Bizarre machine in my studio with screens and cameras and things hanging off it, that looks like something from a camera or a machine that's described in the pages of Neuromancer. And what makes it cyberpunk is.
That's not necessarily intentional. I own this live broadcasting machine, and I don't leave my house because there's a global pandemic and my job right now is to is to create musicals about a virtual video game environment to an audience of thousands who just want to have some type of human connection because they can't leave their houses because of a global pandemic. That's dystopian cyberpunk future. And that's my reality, our reality right now. So we live in the cyberpunk dystopia.
I've digressed. I have definitely digressed from Billy fucking Tyler's leg.
But I need to I need to tell you what Cyberpunk is before I continue on with the Billy Idol Lake story. And I'm just realizing, as I'm talking about this. I can't talk about cyberpunk isn't the science fiction genre anymore. It's not this cool Cyborg Neon Blade Runner Akira thing anymore. It's our lived reality and we don't have flying cars.
And people aren't physically marching, a huge tenet of cyberpunk to is within the dystopia, its people merging with machines that you plug a machine into your body. We don't have that, but we are most certainly merging with machines. Our consciousness is listen, you've got a social media account. How much of your day, how much of your real emotions, your everyday stresses, your fears, your worries are caused by are centered around the version of yourself that is on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?
There is a version of you and all of these social media as something that you curate yourself and the version of you on Instagram is different to the version of you on Twitter. There's things you say on Instagram that you won't say on Twitter that you won't see on Facebook and you have micromanaged.
Different personalities for yourself that you care about in real emotional terms that have actual real consequences. And then there's your actual physical fucking life that you can feel and touch the ground with people that you meet face to face. But right now, during this pandemic, 90 percent of my lived experience is my virtual self.
I have my consciousness has merged with the machine of social media and so has everyone else. So that's cyberpunk. That's what they got that right, too. But in 1992, when Billy Idol had a broken leg and the journalist whose name was Legs said to him, You look like a cyborg from Cyberpunk in 1992, Cyberpunk was just science fiction. So before I get on to where I'm going with this, it's the halfway point. It's time for an A.M. pass.
I don't have the ocarina this week. I'm my Carina's went into the dishwasher and they're just in the other room. Plus, I've I've gotten a bit bored of the ocarina. I now have several new instruments that I use for livestream, and so why not make the most of them? So I think this week we're going to have a castanet pause. A Castanet is a traditional flamenco Spanish percussion instrument. So while I do the castanet pause, that's when a digital advert, again pure cyberpunk lets a digital advert is going to be inserted here by Akehurst.
And. Year, all year are listening to this podcast, but each one of you is going to hear a different advert and the advert that gets inserted to the podcast that you hear is dependent upon your data. So if you if if you if you spent the week fuckin I don't know, going onto your phone, speaking to your friends about soccer, are reading up about soccer on your phone, then there's a chance that the advert that you hear might be sports related.
But if instead you spent the week, I don't know, looking up cooking and food and that's what you've been putting your data into your phone, then you might hear an advert that has something to do with food and your data and your cyborg relationship with your phone is about to determine the advert that is. Generated and placed into this podcast that I have no control over, so let's just play a Spanish flamenco castanets in honor of that.
I know what I'm talking about. This is our rational reality and things that are happening. And I sound mad and this is real. This is all real. Here's the Castanet Pass.
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We're Yukon's. Come look at me on Twitch. Have fun. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Twitch Dotcom, Fiberglas, DoubleLine by podcast. There you go. So 1992 Billy Idol has got a broken leg. I said this started because I'm like, I learn guitar and believe it is childhood guitar, I wonder what he's up to now, what happened to his career? And this is the start of what happened to Billy Idol, his career and how he could go from the big one of the biggest artists in the world to not being the biggest artist in the world.
And it all stems from that journalist colleagues bringing up the subject of Cyberpunk with Billy Idol because he started to obsess over it. Billy Idol went and learned as much as possible about what Cyberpunk was there. The name just stuck in his head. He loved the punk part because he's an old school punk. But he found the cyberpower particularly interesting because he'd just gotten himself an Apple Macintosh computer.
And he was a very early user of the Internet in 1991, which is it's something you found with a lot of famous people, a lot of famous people in the late 80s, early 90s. David Bowie is another example.
1992, I believe, is before the World Wide Web are known. Now, the World Wide Web, I think, was like 1990, but it would have been in its absolute and utter infancy. So people who used the Internet in the 80s and 90s, it was very strange and very niche and a small group of people who had access to personal computers and access to a modem. It was. Internet users were either wealthy, are complete and utter tech nerds, I'm like the reason famous people were using the Internet earlier is they had the money to have access to a home computer and the anonymity.
David Bowie used to use what were known as message boards and a message board. I do not like boards thoroughly. It's it's just a community in the 80s, early 90s, poor people would use an only text, speak to each other on the screen. What's it like, like WhatsApp, except with strangers? This is unlike anything you or I know as the Internet. It was a tiny niche community and it was very radical. And these people were either complete nerds or are people who identified as cyber punks, people who were doing this as a radical act.
OK, and Billy Idol started to get into this. He started to get into this cyberpunk thing and this cyberpunk idea. And this is the beginning of the demise of his career because he has this. He starts to think of releasing an album that's called Cyberpunk. OK, now this is how can I this be like.
Justin Bieber, in terms of how radical. This concept is imagine Justin Bieber. Has a voicebox 3D printed and is has his voicebox surgically replaced with a 3D printed one and talks like a robot. That's the 2020 equivalent of just how bizarre this is. Billy Idol was massive. He was huge. He was a pop punk rock star on MTV. And then he breaks his leg, has a conversation, becomes obsessed with Cyberpunk and decides he's going to do something very radical and new and unlike anything that's been seen before.
And it ruined his career.
So his album, Cyberpunk, was released in 1993. It was an absolute commercial failure. It was critically torn to pieces. OK. In 2020, I think he deserves a hell of a lot more respect. A hell of a lot more respect than that in 2020. Like, it's it's so it's. Musically, it's not a particularly good album. All right, I'll be honest, I went and listened to it last night. There's a cover of a Velvet Underground song called Heroin, which I do think is listenable, but it's it's not a particularly listenable album, but that's not why I think it deserves respect.
As a piece of art, as a concept, Billy Idol Cyberpunk album was fucking years ahead of its time in many different aspects and it doesn't have to be good for something, can be not good and also be hugely important. That's the nature. I would refer to it as avant garde, the avant garde that the phrase avant garde comes from. It's an old military term. When an army was advancing, there was a small number of soldiers, the avant garde, who would go miles ahead of the larger army.
And the purpose of the avant garde was to discover new territory. And they might die, they might die, and they might also lead the army into their deaths. But the point of the avant garde, it wasn't about being good soldiers, it wasn't about winning battles. It was about being the ones to find something new first, even if that meant failure. And Billy Idol's album, Cyberpunk, is a commercial failure, a critical failure and. Without being too harsh, maybe an aesthetic failure as well, but as a piece of fucking art, a concept, it is not a failure and 20/20 Billy Idol that needs to be reappraised in 2020 as a very important visionary piece of work.
And I'll explain why I'm firstly from a musical perspective.
All right, Cyberpunk, the album does not sound like anything else Billy Idol made. Why? Because. In 1991, when he began recording, instead of going to a music studio, Billy Idol decided he was going to because he's taken from the punk. The whole thing with he's an old school punk from the 70s DIY do it yourself. He decided, I'm not going to go to a music studio. I'm going to get a computer, an Apple Macintosh, and I'm going to make the music on the computer.
In 1991, this was in its outer infancy. Nobody was nobody in the mainstream, no, Billy Idol isn't the first to do this shit, but nobody in the fucking mainstream with a platform that he has is going to say, I'm going to get this Apple Macintosh computer in 1991, which shitty software, and I'm going to be one of the first to make a mainstream pop album by myself on a fucking computer. This is completely normal. Now, this is now.
Everyone now makes their music on a computer and studios are going out of business, making it at home by themselves, but not in ninety fucking ninety one. Musically, the album sounds like kind of Nine Inch Nails. It has an industrial feel. It doesn't sound like Billy Idol. It has an electronic vibe and it's clearly self produced. And the reason Cyberpunk, the album was a failure, I think it was conceptually it's a bit scattered right now.
Billy Idol is I've seen a lot of interviews with him talking about his.
He's not particularly articulate. OK, now, I don't mean I don't want to say that as as a critique of someone's intelligence. Sometimes people will equate intelligence with a person's ability to communicate ideas, and that's not race. OK, Billy Idol is someone he's clearly intelligent because he's radical enough to have the concept of doing something that's different to anyone else is doing. But he is unable to verbalize precisely and exactly what he's doing. There's plenty people out there, lads, who are fantastic at verbalizing ideas, but the ideas that the verbalizing are utterly stupid, such as people on the far right, so cyberpunk.
Pluralism is a concept album, and this is what it starts to get silly. It's a concept album made on a computer about making an album on a computer. So it's a concept album about making an album on a computer, but it's made on a computer, so right there, that's the first kind of fall down because that doesn't really make sense. Another thing is when he was doing interviews for the album, for the promo, he demanded that every journalist who spoke to him had to read a copy of William Gibson's Neuromancer if they were to even have an interview with Billy Idol about the cyberpunk album.
But it would appear that Billy Idol himself had not read Neuromancer instead kind of glanced through it and had some vague ideas. What it would appear is.
I'm sure Billy Idol went at this cyberpunk concept, what oter passion, but he appears to have, instead of actually reading the literature and going deep into what Cyberpunk was and what it is, he went onto the early Internet onto a message board. Well, I think it was called and spoke to a lot of people who were involved in the cyberpunk movement and cherry picked ideas from Cyberpunk without giving it any great depth. And so the recording process of cyberpunk was revolutionary for an artist of his time to take such huge risks and to recorded himself on a Macintosh computer when it was at least 10 years before a sentence like that sounds normal.
Artists weren't seriously recording on computers at home until 1997, and it wasn't normalized, at least until I started learning production LEDs and computers in 2006 and even in 2006, it was strange and people had little faith in us that you could make music on a computer.
And the second thing about palliated cyberpunk album that is utterly revolutionary and flopped at the time, but time now shows that he was right how he made the music videos for the singles, for the fucking album. So there was one song called Blando and he was making videos for the songs. And the way he did is a quote from him at the time. They asked him, can you elaborate on how you made the blend of video? Billy Idol says, I loved Lawnmower Man and through a group of friends ended up meeting Brett Leonard.
He and I swarmed various images were high cameras, me at the acupuncturist, me at the Alpha, spare me a mind gym, whatever the fuck my gym is, various landscapes, related images, and we fed them back through a band of desktop computers.
The operators of these computers act as musicians for as they hear the music being played back in real time, they edit the images one on top of each other. I've been building a blend of better footage to use on the tour.
Like that's very revolutionary. That's Billy Idol. Again, for the music videos, creating music, but then having several people getting a load of random footage, having several people on several different computers and conducting them like a visual orchestra to create a video. Now, the end results weren't particularly mind blowing, but that process is. I mean, that's what people do now on Adobe premiere when you make a music video. Now, back then, making a music video meant you probably showed it on film.
You have to really plan it in advance. You have to have a shot list. You have to know what you're doing. You didn't have the luxury of simply record, record, record and worry about it in the edit that now that's normal. Now, that's why following the Martin Scorsese film on Netflix, the Irishman is four hours long. That's why films are really long. Now, you recorded digitally. It's never ending. You can record as much as you want and worry about it in the edit.
Billy Idol was doing that in 1991 with the music videos for the Cyberpunk album. Quite interestingly, to all this footage that he was having recorded to use for the music videos. He also intended to get, you know, thousands and thousands of hours of random images and footage to project on the screens at his live gigs and a quote he said in 1992 about his intentions. Again, I think in 2020, he managed to predict what life gigs are like, are like.
Now, he said, we're going to be led by these stream of consciousness images. It's going to be almost like that's your mind. And we'll have four people swarming the gig with camcorders, which they'll put life into this blend. And the people from the audience can bring their own footage. God knows it could be anything, could be them with their girlfriends. But we're going to take their footage and we put it up on screen live at the gigs.
And I think this will give us a vision of what rock and roll gigs should be like. We're working. We're pushing the technology to the edge and. So I think I don't think Blendr was the name of the video, I think Blendr was the name of the process that he'd come up with of using footage in a live way and what he's just described there in 1991. That's what's happening now. Everyone goes to a gig and we recorded ourselves on our own phones, and then sometimes the artists would even take that gig footage, like one of the biggest things on the Internet right now is known as a fan camp.
Like if you're on Twitter and you search K pop bands in particular, like PTSD, big Korean bands, fans go to gigs, record their own footage of the artist and post their own fan cams. So he correctly predicted that with Cyberpunk too, even though at the time people thought he was mad. And finally, I think the most important element of the cyberpunk album and why it's so revolutionary and deserves respect in 2020 and respect doesn't mean we say that it's good or it's listenable.
It means Santa saying to Billy Idol, fair fuckin play for your efforts. And people were wrong to critically panned what you were doing and to laugh at you for what you were doing. Because you know what? It's 30 years on and you were fuckin right. You were right. And people need to apologize.
Billy Idol promoted the album through the Internet in 1992. The Internet wasn't even it wasn't a thing if this wasn't being done now, Frank Zappa in the late 80s had suggested sending people music via telephone lines. Todd Rundgren is another artist who messed around with the Internet earlier, but no one on Billy Idol is our scale.
Billy Idol was huge and he was using an early Internet message board to communicate with cyberpunk aficionados.
But people who are in the cyberpunk community, he was always an early Internet message board called the Well. And now here is the second instance of nominative nominative determination in this podcast. The first one was the journalist colleagues who looked at Billy Idol legs and said, You remind me of a cyborg. Here's the second one. Believe Idol was using an early Internet message board called the Well, which was founded by a man called Larry Brilliant. And Larry Brilliant before founding the well is instrumental in eradicating smallpox.
So that there is nominative determinism, he was born, Larry, brilliant. And it's like your second name is brilliant. What are you going to do with that? I'm going to eradicate smallpox and be an integral part in the early Internet. Fuck you. But anyway. And he first off for the process of making the album, he was heavily involved in cyberpunk Internet communities to speak to them about ideas. They got pissed off about it. They felt that the he appropriated cyberpunk culture, picked bits out of it and didn't show respect.
And he was promoting the album via early Internet boards. And when journalists were told about the album, they were sent a floppy disk with lyrics on it and excerpts of songs. He was actively using technology to really try and strip down Juarez, an album, Juarez music. What can technology do for all aspects? He's he's creatively looking at the cutting edge of how an album is recorded, how the videos for the album are made, and how the album is distributed and promoted.
So that's an in for me is an entire rounded piece of art. Yes, he's flawed in his thinking. Yes. Mistakes are being made. Yes, it's fucking ridiculous. It's a concept album made on a computer.
And the concept is I can't even fucking describe. It's an album. It's a concept album made on a computer. But the concept is that it's it's an album about an album made on a computer.
I mean, that's like Flanner brain, like Flanner Brains that are outswim to Bardes. It's a book about a man writing a book. And then the characters in his book write a book about him. Except Flanner Brain was doing it from the perspective, really masterful postmodern art. And it's a masterpiece and know what he was doing.
Billy Idol seemed to be had this ridiculous idea but didn't fully follow through intellectually, which is why did it ruin his career?
Why did this destroy his fucking career? You have to view what he was doing in the context of wider culture. 1993, who's the biggest band in the world? Nirvana, Nirvana changed fucking everything Nirvana ushered in into the mainstream postmodernism. All right. It Nirvana made postmodernism mainstream and. Postmodernism is is it is fucking ironic and it is cynical now, ironically, cyberpunk is very post-modern, pure cyberpunk. Philip K. Dick Blade Runner, William Gibson, J.G. Ballard, very fuckin ironic postmodern art forms they critique.
The future, they critique corporations, they critique power, they critique technology, they're ironic, but Billy Idol Cyberpunk was not ironic. It was 100 percent sincere. And sincerity is not a tentative postmodernism. Sincerity is the enemy of postmodernism. You look at what Nirvana were doing like.
Like 1993, you would have had a video like In Bloom. So what Nirvana were doing at the time that was revolutionary is they were and I did a podcast on this before I novenas, music, postmodernism uses nostalgia, OK?
Nostalgia was a huge part of postmodernism. Quentin Tarantino, 1994, A year after this fucking album, nostalgia looks to the past and it takes the Fosi childhood memory that we have of cultural artifacts, artifacts from our childhood, and then regurgitate them back in an ironic, funny juxtaposed way that makes it dark.
You look at Nirvanas video for their song In Bloom, which is The Lads in Nirvana. Black and white on television, as if it's the The Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles are first on it in 1962, which is a cultural memory that would have been in American people's minds of the first time the Beatles went on TV, black and white TV. And you've got an audience of screaming girls. And The Beatles were they had slightly long hair, but they were in suits and they look like nice boys.
And they're singing this music with smiling faces, smiling to the camera. And the girls are screaming. And this is an iconic moment from the 60s in America. And Nirvana's video for In Bloom is Nirvana looking exactly like the Beatles in the 60s and black and white TV was fucking the bass player. Novoselic is wearing a dress and the music is as far removed from the Beatles as you can get. It's based in the card structures of the Beatles, but it has a distortion and an aggression and an irony and a sadness and an anger, which is a pastiche.
It's juxtaposed and the memory of the Beatles will say on The Ed Sullivan Show. So that's irony and irony. You can't be sincere about something when you're being ironic, so Nirvana had changed the landscape in the early 90s where if if you're being sincere, you're simply fucking uncool. And Billy Idol approached this album with with what in 1992 was utter Cringely sincerity. He's not critiquing anything. Well, he he thinks he's critiquing something, but he's not doing it.
Ironically, he's not playing by the rules of culture. There's eight guys at that time. He is, with all sincerity, looking towards the future. And you don't do that. Nades want coal in 1992. Nades are cool now. Nades are very, very cool now. Mainstream culture is fucking Marvel films. If you liked Fokin, Batman in 1992, you were a nerd who lived in your mother's basement and you were chastised and the pace was taken earlier and you were so far from from what was considered cool if you were a nerd in 1992, if you were using the Internet in 1992, you were deeply, deeply uncool.
You were a fucking nerd with no life. And all you did is you cared about numbers and you were on the computer. Think of that Simpsons episode where Homer goes to college, Homer goes to fucking college, and he's hanging out with nerds who are using the Internet, who are on the Internet all day.
They're playing Dungeons and Dragons. The cyberpunk tabletop game from 1988 was just a futuristic version of Dungeons and Dragons. Billy Idol was hanging with nades that moment in The Simpsons, where Bart says to Homer and Homer, like, I've gone to college, I'm in college, and I'm hanging out with these cool guys. And we play Dungeons and Dragons all day and we're on the Internet and cause you're hanging with nerds. And then Homer goes, bananas are my sworn enemy.
I'm a cool jock. Billy Idol did the most uncool thing you could possibly imagine. He believed in something, he believed in something, and he looked towards the future and it was completely out of tone and out of touch with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Quentin Tarantino and culture at the time. And it was so fucking uncool and embarrassing. He was also in his fuckin early 30s. And you better not fuck up in your early 30s because you look like a DA.
He dared to be sincere at the height of post-modern irony, and it ruined his fucking career. It destroyed his career. And I just want to do this podcast to say that I think Billy Idol deserves respect for the 1993 album Cyberpunk. He was visionary. He took massive fucking risks. He ruined his career doing his fair fucking play to him for such a beautiful failure and to have the naivete and courage.
Like what he should have been doing was wearing rip jeans and grown his hair greasy and wearing dirty cardigans and trying his best sound like Kurt Cobain, he didn't he started wearing leather and spiked his fucking hair up and look like your man, Max Headroom.
And said this album's about robots. Here's an ad made on a computer and it's about making albums and a computer and a very the title track on it was very he was about the L.A. riots, about a cyberpunk version of him in the L.A. riots. And. I don't know. I just think it needs a reappraisal and someone needs to give them a pat on the back and say people didn't get it at the time, but we now live in fucking hell.
We live in a dystopian tech hell. And you got it right. Billy and Kurt Cobain didn't die. You know, you think as well of like Kurt Cobain, Rage Against the Machine were not a huge at that time. And Rage Against the Machine were the last warning, like real like Rage Against the Machine were. Highly political and Rage Against the Machine were warning us, saying, this is our music now we're going to tell you that the world is about to be taken over by huge corporations like Rage Against the Machine film, the music video on Wall Street and had Wall Street shut down for the day.
Rage Against the Machine were screaming at us. The banks control the world. The world is racist. The corporations are going to take over. We need to this music has to be really loud and I need to scream about it. And you need to listen. And we didn't listen. We didn't listen. And Idol got it right. And now we live in a cyberpunk dystopian future with no flying cars. The world is burning. There's a global pandemic and.
We've uploaded our consciousness to social media and someone needs to find Fairplay it. Where did it go wrong? 911, 911. This is a separate podcast that I'm going to do because it's a bite and heartache that I'm bubbling up. 911 is where it went wrong. That was the death of post-modern irony. Rage against the machine, Marwan. And as 9/11 happens and then sincerity becomes mainstream again. Why? Because.
Fokin, the American, 9/11 happens, America, George Bush turns around and goes, and I think it was Afghanistan and Iraq, and then the world goes, Nah, wasn't George wasn't real. And he goes, it was we're going into Iraq. And then France said in the UN, we are not supporting you in your war in Iraq. And then America turned around and said, well, then we are changing the name of French fries to freedom fries.
And everyone said, that's normal.
And then George Bush introduces the war on terror, which is a war on a concept and introduces a thing called the Patriot Act, which was a way to strip people's liberties and privacy. Basically, if we think you're a terrorist, we can tap your phone, we can do whatever the fuck we want and fuck your constitutional rights. What comes out of that? The NSA, the NSA and all that Facebook shit. And what Obama did that right there.
That's the start of it. And now what happens to tech companies rule the world and all our data is not private. There you go. Am I still have Billy Idol's childhood guitar? It's in my mother's attic. I'm going to get my hands in it over the next couple of days, hopefully I might bring it on my livestream and play a few songs and his childhood guitar, even though I've had it for over two decades, I understand that it's still on loan.
So if if Billy Idol are members of his family, want to repatriate the guitar, you're more than welcome to it. It's not mine. It's still on loan. I don't know. OK, I know for a fact that Brian Eno listens to this podcast. Johnny Marr from the Smiths listens to this podcast. One of the lads from Oasis listens to this podcast. Piano lessons to this podcast. There's enough people in the music industry who probably know Billy Idol, Robbie Williams listens to the podcast.
There's enough people who listen to this podcast who probably know Billy Idol to give him a text and say, listen to this podcast. It's about you. So, Billy, if you hear this and you want your childhood guitar back, give me a shout. I will give it back to you. I'm merely hanging onto. To what? It's resting in my mother's attic. I'll talk to you next week. Don't know what next week's podcast is going to be about.
And my voice is nearly gone now because of that cyberpunk rant. God bless. Mind yourself, have a bit of self compassion, I'm. I need the shit there that I said that was quite dystopian, don't be letting it bring you down. There was a tinge of irony there as well. A bit of irony going on. We don't live in postmodernism anymore. Now we've got meta modernism. That's that's the that's the thing. It's like modernism is about sincerity.
Postmodernism is that Naranja irony. And now what we've got is meta modernism, which is sincerity and irony existing alongside each other. What do you mean blown by? Well, I've got a plastic bag in my head and I look like a clown and people listen to me for mental health advice. That's sincerity and irony, existing perfectly alongside each other. And it's OK.
So don't allow me.
And my talking about I was living in this dystopia. Bring it down too much. It's not that bad. You can still have meaning in your existence. There's still hope and. I'm happy, am I I understand and acknowledge that life contains inevitable suffering, that this is the price that we pay for love, and I accept that I have no control over what happens, but I have full control over my attitude towards what happens.
And the liberation of that realization allows me to be happy and have meaning, you know, and not everyone can have that. Everyone can have that, all right, so mind yourself, be compassionate toward yourself, be compassionate towards other people, rob a dog, feed a cat, not as a fork and leaf.
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Water smell the air at night time as it changes into autumn, you know, that's the real stuff, as Werner Herzog would say. That's the real stuff. All right, Yade.