Tag Archives: Muisc

Shock to the System – Billy Idol and the LA riots

It’s a heat wave here in London; the kind of Heat Wave that inspired the Predator to storm LA and take on Danny Glover and Gary Busey in a three knockout bout that took down about half the real estate Arnold Schwarzenegger did in Terminator 2.  It’s hot, humid and there is that Rain Forest, Semi-Tropical moistness in the air that either anesthetizes or inflames any long running grievances.  It’s a beer and a pound or it’s time to throw down, if you will.

It’s been about 2 weeks since the G20 summit kicked off in Toronto and the heat is still on there;  there was damage and some looting and not a small amount of controversy surrounding the behavior of the police flown in to number into the thousands to protect Toronto from violence and protest that got out of hand.

In 1992, LA was simmering, boiling over and it was the subsequent acquittal of the police in the caught on video beating of Rodney King that proved to be to the catalyst to set things off:

Here in London and Toronto; there’s a less imminent; less urgent current of unrest regarding what happened over in Toronto; there is going to be an inquiry…but like those before it (when Quebec Police were forced to admit that they had acted as agents provocateurs during protests in Quebec, I doubt anything will come of it.   We have people herded up and thrown into cages for being out and about where the police didn’t like it; thousands of police on hand who couldn’t prevent wide-scale damage in Toronto.  Something is up there.

So; why am I even thinking about all of this?  Billy Idol.

Billy Idol released  Shock to the System; a single about the Riots.

Some of the music inspired by the Riots is about the violence, some about the police and some about the peace that was needed in the aftermath.  That simmering resentment though, it never appears to have really gone anywhere.  I wonder if it will flare up anywhere else?