A lot of my friends know that I made a special custom made one-of-a-kind Punk Majesty jacket for Billy Idol, and that I was going to attempt to meet him and give it to him. The whole thing didn’t go so well, and a lot of people are asking me about it, so I decided to sit down and write it all out so I don’t have to keep re-living it over and over again.
When I made the decision to make him a jacket, I did think about all the possible avenues of how to get it to him—I went to his official Facebook page and official website, and both do not have a way to send him (or his admin) a message. I looked up who his Publicists and his Managers are, but then decided after looking into it that I would rather show up and wing it than try to go through “his team”. As someone who has been a publicist for many years myself (for 3 PR companies, my own former company, and currently for the last 7 years for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend), I know that it’s kind of annoying to bother his Publicists or Managers with this kind of thing, so I chose not to. I figured I’d let my face and the Jacket speak for themselves… after all I can be pretty persuasive.
I arrived at the Fox Theater before the opening band went on. I asked a security guard where the backstage area was and he pointed me in the direction. I was carrying the jacket in a garment bag, and I approached the 2 security people guarding this door. I said, “Hi, I made a custom jacket for Billy Idol, and I was hoping that maybe you guys could help me get it to him.” They were both quiet for a minute and I said, “Do you want to see it?” and they were very receptive and friendly (surprisingly) and they said Yes. I unzipped the garment bag and removed the jacket and showed them. They said, “That’s really cool!” I thanked them and I asked their names: Kelly and Raymond.
Raymond said, “I tell you what, I will take it back and give it to his main guy and you wait here and I’ll be right back.” At that point, I got an adrenaline rush. Things were looking pretty good, I thought. I felt a little nervous. He came back a few minutes later and he said, “I gave it to his main guy and he’s going to give it to him. Come back right here at the end of the show and I’ll let you know what he said and you’ll probably get to go back.” Well, that was exciting. I had that to look forward to during the whole show. My friends were saying, “He could come out on stage wearing it!” Even though I thought that was a total long shot, it was exciting to wonder if that might be possible.
After the show, I went right back where they told me to go. I was excited and nervous, and there were a lot of people milling about, so I just hung back patiently, hoping for the best. Security then told me to go wait by a different door, where there was a line of people, I assumed for the “meet and greet.” Again, I was standing patiently, not bothering anyone, hoping for the best. A security guy then told me that I had to leave. I said, “I made a jacket for Billy Idol and someone took it backstage and they told me to wait here.”
As someone who worked at The Fillmore for 2 years, which is a similar type of venue, as well as having worked in clubs and venues for decades and seeing concerts my entire life, I know that security staff at these kind of places can be real assholes. I was somewhat prepared for that. I knew they would probably be uncaring, and that’s fine. I know how to act and talk to people, and knew it might be difficult.
I saw Raymond, and I said, “Hey, Raymond, what’s going on?” and for some reason, he was immediately on the defense. He raised his voice in an excited manner and said, “I don’t want to argue with you!” Whoa. My girlfriend who was standing with me saw this, and I looked at her and her mouth was open like she was shocked. I said, “I’m not arguing… I’m asking what’s happening.” Jesus. He said, “He didn’t say anything about it so either he didn’t get it or didn’t like it.” Wow, thanks for the negative speculation.
I said, “So you don’t even know if he got it?” Well, in that case can you please get it back for me because I spent 12 hours working on it and I can sell it for $500.” He said, “You didn’t say that.” And I said, “Well you didn’t say that you would take it away and not even know where it went.” So as far as I know, it could have been left lying on a chair, or on the floor, or discarded in the trash, or some lucky security guard or cleaner ended up with a really cool size 38 jacket that I made special for Billy Idol. Raymond and the other security were very unsympathetic and stern. They said I had to leave. Wow, and I couldn’t even get the jacket back or any confirmation it wasn’t thrown away. It was really upsetting.
I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like it to seem as though I am causing a problem. I could sense that if I said anything else or tried to stick up for myself, I would probably be physically thrown out, so I just accepted this asshole behavior and left. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to dwell on things and if I’m not actually sick or dying, I know this isn’t the end of the world, so I let it go. I’ll never know what happened with the jacket. My friend was having a 50th Birthday party at the DNA Lounge and I jumped in an Uber and went straight to the party and danced the night away because if I’m not dead, I’m gonna live every moment to the fullest. My friend who was with me was really upset about it, and upset for me. I still feel disgruntled about how I felt I was treated like human garbage, when I was behaving in a patient non-confrontational manner, but assholes are gonna be assholes, and I can’t change that.
I did put my Punk Majesty business card in the inside right pocket of the jacket, as well as my alishaamnesia.com Blog card with my photo on it. If Billy Idol actually did get the jacket and puts his hand in the pocket, he will see who it came from. I can only hope for the best. I did also go see him again a few days later in Vegas, but I didn’t attempt to get to him. I figured, what was the point? I didn’t have the jacket anymore and I couldn’t make another one because I didn’t have another jacket in his size, nor did I have the time or materials to make another. Maybe the universe will sort it out. ; /
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