It’s ten years since Billy’s death. I met him a few times and liked him a bit but I don’t think I came close to knowing him.

Nobody did.

To the music media at the time he was something of a sacred cow, no-one wanted to say it like it was.

Reading between the lines and drawing on personal experience he was a spoiled brat, really. He never knew what it was he wanted but was always confident that he could get it and, when he couldn’t, he’d convince himself and everybody else that he didn’t want it in the first place.

He had a head full of music, a lot of charm and an ear for a lyric but he never mastered an instrument. His voice was interesting and had a good range but he faked the high register and socially he was a bit of a prat.

And then there are the musicians he ate up and spat out: guys like Steven Reid, for example, the guitar player who co-wrote a lot of his stuff but never received any credit.

But hey, this is Galloway the iconoclast talking (if I can dis God I can dis Billy), so, if you worshiped him or if his memory is sacred to you, if you want to think of him as a lost, tortured soul, a tragic genius, you go ahead, my friend…

I won’t disillusion you.

Sing it to the angels Billy and rest in peace.

Died 22 Jan 1997.

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