Billy Idol – “The Making of 'Eyes Without A Face” (Vevo Footnotes) banner

Billy Idol Revisits his “Eyes Without A Face” Music Video via Vevo Footnotes

Punk rock icon Billy Idol takes viewers behind the scenes of the official music video for his first top 10 hit, “Eyes Without A Face,” in the latest installment of Vevo Footnotes.

Billy Idol – “The Making of ‘Eyes Without A Face” (Vevo Footnotes)

In the video, Billy discussed his intention to write an anti-love song because the ‘80s were filled with drippy, soppy love songs. He described “Eyes Without A Face” as almost like a murder song. He shared that he drew influence from many silent films he enjoyed watching, noting their similarities in achieving impactful effects with limited resources and budgets.

Billy also revealed a story about falling asleep with bleach in his hair the night before the shoot and waking up with fried hair, but somehow making it work. Also, he recalled his struggle to find a bassist who could interpret his reggae-inspired bassline on the song until he met Sal Cuevas, who was a member of the Dreamgirls Broadway band at the time. Finally, Billy shared a story that Miley Cyrus has told him that some of his videos are among her favorite sexiest music videos and says, “Thank you, Miley.”

Vevo Footnotes:

00:12 – I think I was deliberately trying to write not a love song because the ‘80s was full of love songs, all drippy, soppy love songs. So, I thought maybe I just write an anti-love song. It’s almost a murder song; it’s what I was thinking about, something like a serial killer.

01:02 – One of the things we were having trouble with was the bassline because I like reggae, you know, so I wanted it to be like a really prominent bassline and we were having a hell of a time trying to find someone who could play my idea until we met Sal Cuevas, who was playing in the Dreamgirls Broadway band, and he nailed it.

02:02 – I liked a lot of silent movies because you knew they were doing things with paint, wood, and glue; you know, it’s very sort of cheap in a way, but with maximum effect. It was an old book I had that had a lot of old stills, you know, Boris Karloff movies like ‘The Black Cat’ in front of an altar with a lot of crosses behind him. A lot of these things were influencing me with the ‘White Wedding’ video or ‘Eyes Without A Face.’ That’s what I was sort of bringing into my videos: this kind of old influence of movies one hundred years before.

02:48 – It’s more something like ‘The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari;’ it was sort of painted, so there was a psychotic element because he was supposed to be some sort of serial killer.

03:30 – Things that we were sort of having a bit of fun the night before, bleaching my hair. Perry bleached my hair, we fell asleep, and when we woke up, it was like, ‘Oh, my hair is really fried. I just had a little bit at the front, and somehow we made it look like I had hair. And that’s the kind of fun we had in the 1980s.

04:33 – The thing is, we were really trying to do a lot with nothing. And I think they still hold up and look pretty good. In fact, Miley Cyrus says they’re the sexiest videos she likes to watch. So, thank you, Miley.

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Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell” cover art

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