Steve Stevens: Idol hid his addictions

Billy Idol’s guitarist Steve Stevens says the frontman hid much of his drug and alcohol habit from him and the rest of the band while on the road in the 80s.

Idol recalls his addiction struggles in his book Dancing With Myself. And while Stevens says drink and drugs were in the studio, he admits he didn’t know the levels of the singer’s excesses while on tour.

Stevens tells Guitar International: “It’s amazing, because he kept a lot of that from me. I wasn’t privy to it. We would drink and do little bit of drugs in the studio, but that wasn’t really the place for it.

“While on tour everyone would retreat back to their hotel rooms, we were never like, ‘I have a brick of heroin, wanna join?’”

Stevens says that the “lunacy exhibited” was because they wanted to make the music as good as it could be, but adds: “I’m sober now, but back when I drank I could never play under the influence.

“I would have to wait until the session was over to have a drink or partake in anything. I’m proud to say that nothing on the records or anything that I played on, has ever been under the influence.”

Stevens is currently on tour with Idol and played at this month’s Download festival. But he says once he’s off the road he’s planning on releasing a “classic prog heavy” album next year.

He continues: “It’s more of a band project than a solo CD. It’s very much in the classic rock vein and will have a signer. I just can’t say who.

“We’ve written a few songs and I’m really excited about it. It’s a very organic sounding band. There is no regard to song length or tempo or changes. It’s reminiscent of when bands were allowed to do what the fuck they want to do. It’s like a classic prog heavy CD.”

Billy Idol tour dates

Jun 22: Paris Zenith, France

Jun 24: Hamburg Stadpark, Germany

Jun 25: Odense Funen Village, Denmark

Jun 27: Varberg Fastningshornan, Sweden

Jun 28: Stockholm Grona Lund, Sweden

Jul 01: Cologne Open Air, Germany

Jul 03: Saarbrucken Saarlandhalle, Germany

Jul 07: Leipzig Arena, Germany

Jul 08: Vienna Open Air, Austria

Jul 10: Lucca Summer Festival, Italy

Jul 11: Brescia Summer Festival

Jul 13: Zagreb Calling, Croatia

Jul 16: Emmendingen I Em Music Open Air, Germany

Jul 18: Vechta NDR1 Kultstars, Germany

Jul 19: Husum NCC Nordsee Congress Centrum, Germany

Jul 21: Rostock Stadthalle, Germany

Jul 25: Munich Sommernachtstraum, Germany

Aug 07: Reno Grand Sierra Theatre, NV

Aug 08: San Francisco Golden Gate Park Outside Lands, CA

Sep 10: Council Bluffs Stir Concert Cove, IA

Sep 15: Louisville Iroquois Amphitheatre, KY

Sep 18: Nashville Ryman Auditorium, TN

Sep 21: Hollywood Hard Rock Live, FL

Sep 23: Orlando Hard Rock Live

Sep 24: Clearwater Ruth Eckerd Hall, FL

Sep 28: New Orleans House Of Blues, LA

Sep 29: New Orleans House Of Blues, LA

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.