The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

October 23, 2012

Seattle man gets Billy Idol to play his birthday



SEATTLE (AP) — Michael Henrichsen has ideas about how he might celebrate his 26th birthday this week.

First, Billy Idol rolls up in a limo and tells him to hop in. There are women everywhere. And later, when the British rock icon takes the stage and rips into "Rebel Yell," bras start flying and 1,800 of his closest friends go wild.

Far-fetched? Maybe not. After a two-year campaign that was part resume stunt, part charity drive and part heartfelt effort to get his far-flung friends together for a great time, the irrepressible Seattle man has actually persuaded Idol to play his birthday party Friday night.

"This is surreal," Henrichsen says. "It should not be happening."

So why is it? In his bedroom, surrounded by Cyndi Lauper and Madonna records, a drumstick he picked up at an Idol show two years ago, and rock posters, Henrichsen explains:

In October 2010, he had just turned 24 and was having an early life crisis. Friends were getting married and moving away. He was working three jobs and making little progress paying off $40,000 in college loans.

Salvation came over the stereo at the Bellevue Square Mall's Billabong clothing store, where he worked. It was "White Wedding." Henrichsen turned to a coworker: "Wouldn't it be cool if we got Billy Idol to play at my birthday party?"

She laughed. He laughed. No way, right?

But he went home and thought about it. He loved the way Idol blended pop and rock. Idol seemed like a fun guy. Henrichsen loves other music from the '80s, but he couldn't see Prince or Duran Duran agreeing. Idol, who lives in Los Angeles, wouldn't even have to leave his time zone.

Scoring Idol could also be a major coup for his resume. Henrichsen isn't sure what he wants to do for a career — something in entertainment or event planning or PR, maybe — but he thought this could get it started.

Text Only
Entertainment
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee