|Billy Idol (billyidol.net)
Billy Idol and Faith No More
Oct. 27, 1990 @ Pacific Amphitheatre (Costa Mesa)I was pretty lucky growing up. Both of my parents loved going to concerts. From Diana Ross, Kool and the Gang and Tito Puente to Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson (Yes, my dad was an Asian cowboy.), my sisters and I got dragged to a lot of really eclectic shows.
I chose this concert as my first "Remember When" column because it was the first show that I actually begged my parents to buy tickets for. I was only 13, so of course they had to tag along with my 7-year-old sister. But they let me bring two friends, so I was excited. They purchased lawn seats, so that my sister could just lie down if she got tired. Looking back on it now, I'm not sure what they were thinking.
The combination of artists on the bill might seem a little weird now, but at the time, both Faith No More and Billy Idol were fixtures on MTV. FNM were riding high on the success of their "Epic" single. Everyone knew of the song's video with the exploding piano and fish flailing around on the ground. It was also the world's introduction to the awesome craziness that is Mike Patton.
Everything started out fine, Patton even managed to lull my sister and dad to sleep with his cover of the Hershey's white chocolate ad jingle. Although, most of the audience knew he wasn't really referring to white chocolate when he was extolling the virtues of his "creamy white, dreamy white."
But then the band ripped into their heavier stuff, jumping around the stage and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. People on the lawn began to mosh and … set fire to bits of trash. It was so fantastic: my first taste of rock 'n' roll mayhem! My mom started yelling at my dad to wake up, but somehow we managed to calm her down so we could stay for at least some of Idol's set.
As Idol's crew set up, a huge fist with "Rude Dude" painted on its fingers was unveiled to be hovering over center stage. The singer had just been in a near-fatal motorcycle accident eight months previous, but it didn't matter, he still managed to slither his way around the stage to "White Wedding," "Dancing With Myself" and his latest hit, "Cradle of Love."
Meanwhile, the ruffians around us were containing their fires to the metal trash cans randomly dotting the field and emanating an odor that definitely wasn't from cigarettes. Then the Rude Dude fist started to rotate, and its middle finger began to rise. ACK! This was the final straw for my mom, who promptly gathered us up and hurried us towards the exit.
As we made our way to the parking lot, strains of "Eyes Without a Face" wafted down to us, and I was in a kind of dream state. My inner Catholic school girl rebel had fallen in love. I wanted more of the adrenaline rush that surrounded me all evening – from the performers on stage and the crowd's screaming, slamdancing bodies. This was definitely the beginning to a beautiful addiction.