On Wednesday, Billy Idol helped Google celebrate the launch of their new subscription music service, Google Play Music All Access, by performing an hourlong set for attendees of Google I/O, an annual developer’s conference held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The set came at the end of a long opening day for the conference, and Idol’s appearance was successfully kept secret until the end of the keynote address, earlier Wednesday morning.
In front of a room full of developers from around the world, the Eighties rocker ran through a greatest hits set, playing a number of songs that could easily make it onto the All Access playlists of many in the room. Opening up with the one-two bang of “Cradle of Love” and “Dancing With Myself,” Idol also went through six costume changes in just 60 minutes.
Referencing Google’s many new rollouts and software upgrades announced earlier in the day, Idol said the new developments excited even him. “I’m looking forward to trying some of them myself,” he said.
But when he cleverly embedded an instrumental section of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” in the middle of the Doors’ “L.A. Woman,” (sung as “San Fran Woman”), few code writers or genius software developers in the audience seemed to pick up on it. No matter: they still clamored for one of the autographed paper plates that Idol tossed like Frisbees into the audience.
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Given Google’s massive resources, Idol had to admit that he was there, ultimately, because the giant corporation made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. In introducing his classic cut “White Wedding,” Idol said, “It’s great to do what we love and get paid for it.”
Of course, many of the successful app builders, developers and programmers in the audience couldn’t have agreed more.
In addition to launching Google Play Music All Access, the first day of Google I/O 2013 also saw a number of announcements involving Google+, Chrome, Android, Google Now, Google Maps and interactive gaming.