Video Review: Billy Idol “To Be A Lover”

In shadow, Billy Idols opens a metal door with his hands. His microphone tucked in his hip, he runs his hands along the ropes as he enters the boxing ring.

He stands by the ropes and sings with his wireless microphone. A Jumbotron reads “Tonite!” The background singers perform above the ring. He slides on the rope and leans into it, bending them and spreads his legs.

A man, wearing a hat and smoking a cigar, plays the piano. He sings right to his keyboardist. He hits his fist on the keyboard and allows himself to nearly flip over the ropes. The background singer in the center flicks her fingers while he runs his hand down his face. The keyboardist leaps into the ring, playing the guitar. An African-American man, wearing black-and-white stripes. plays the drums.

Idol slides to the background singers and performs in the center. He puts his arm around the keyboardist, who is playing the guitar and points to the audience.

Rating: 4/5

The boxing ring, usually a place of celebrated relentless aggression and pent up rage, is Billy Idol’s haven. As a kid, he visited the local boxing gym and would stay for hours, punching the speedbag. It leveled his disappointments to a pulp, enabling him to move forward.

There, he met people from various parts of the city and the suburbs. A retired piano man wanted to learn how to throw a left hook to defend himself. An African-American reaches out to the youth in the area, hoping to get them away from the streets. Meanwhile, the young women hang out outside the gym, waiting to talk to him. They put their hands on his arm and listen as he talks about sparring.

He fell in love with one of the young woman who broke his heart. She was his first lover. However, he left her without a word. She was going to college and he had nothing to offer to her. He was the tough guy who snuck into her house at night and didn’t know any of her family.

While he works at the gym coaching, he can picture her sitting by the ring, encouraging him as she watched him. At home, his wife waits for him, wondering his kiss doesn’t reach her lips anymore.

Director: N/A Year: 1986

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