Crash May Put New Billy Idol Album, Movie Role on Hold

Billy Idol’s motorcycle accident Tuesday morning occurred just hours after the rock star finished his first album in more than three years and just five weeks before he was to begin his co-starring role in an Oliver Stone film about Jim Morrison, the controversial lead singer of the Doors rock band.

The British-born Idol (real name: William Broad) broke his right leg and left forearm when he went through a stop sign in Hollywood and crashed into a moving automobile, said Los Angeles police. Though he was not wearing a helmet, there were no serious head injuries.

Idol’s publicist, Ellen Golden, said Wednesday that the singer, 34, had taken a long time on the new album because he viewed it as a transitional work that he hoped would expand his audience from his largely teen rock following to include a more adult crowd.

“The record is definitely his most mature and honest record,” Golden said describing “Charmed Life,” which is scheduled to be released in April. “He refers to himself directly a lot on it. He’s very proud of what he has to say.”

A national tour was to follow the album’s release.

How the injuries will affect these plans was still uncertain Wednesday. Idol was described by a Cedars-Sinai Medical Center spokesman as in serious but stable condition following a seven-hour operation Tuesday involving three orthopedic surgeons.


Hospital spokesman Ron Wise said Idol would probably remain hospitalized for up to two weeks. His need for physical therapy or further treatment had not been determined.

“Working in his favor is that he’s young and healthy and athletic,” said Wise, who added that Idol was awake and alert Wednesday.

Idol’s last album, not counting a greatest hits package, was 1986’s “Whiplash Smile,” which sold more than 1 million copies and represented a preliminary step away from the flashy, rebellious near-punk image he’d courted since his days leading the late-'70s London band Generation X. His best-known solo hits include “White Wedding,” “Rebel Yell” and the 1986 Top 10 selection, “To Be a Lover.”

Though he still invariably appeared in black leather and studs, a seemingly permanent sneer on his face, “Whiplash Smile” presented him as a maturing artist.

In recent years, Idol has been a fixture in Los Angeles, often seen at local music clubs where he sometimes spontaneously took the stage for late-night jam sessions. He was also one of many celebrity Harley-Davidson riders, seen in the company of the likes of Mickey Rourke and Gary Busey, who himself had a serious crash in late 1988. Idol performed at a November 1988 benefit to help track down the hit-and-run driver who killed a cycle-riding friend of his.