"Untwist Your Knickers": How a Seattle Fan Talked Billy Idol into Playing his Birthday Party

Sep 9, 2017

Michael ​Henrichsen’s parents met at a Duran Duran concert. He’s named after the lead singer of INXS. He practically has 1980s and 90s pop music in his DNA. So maybe it’s no surprise that, after hearing a Debbie Gibson song in a piano bar, the 30-year old Henrichsen got a little obsessed.

He developed a fascination with one artist in particular: Billy Idol. Fresh out of college, unable to find a decent job or internship in his chosen field of marketing, Henrichsen set his sights on a different goal. He would convince Billy Idol to come to Seattle, and play a live show at his birthday party.

He did not get much traction with Billy Idol’s management team, but he refused to give up. Instead, he started collecting testimonials from any celebrity he could score an introduction to. Kevin Nealon and Pauly Shore recorded videos on his behalf. So did Fabio.

Henrichsen organized Billy Idol Aid shows, three times, and raised thousands of dollars for Northwest Harvest. And he kept in touch with Billy Idol’s management, just in case they had a change of heart.

Then shortly before Billy Idol Aid 4, he got a surprise phone call from Idol’s people, who sent him a video message.

Henrichsen joined Sound Effect host Gabriel Spitzer to talk about what it was like to find himself in the media spotlight, to meet Billy Idol in the flesh, and to pursue a sort of absurd goal for two years, and actually achieve it.

And Henrichsen is not done. He has a new venture -- a lip sync and dance act that pays homage to the classic boy bands, called “All4Doras.” His dream now is to be the opening act for New Kids on the Block.

And he got pretty close -- when the New Kids played a recent nostalgia show at Key Arena, Henrichsen and his band-mates were there, showing off their choreography right in front of the stage. The band acknowledged them approvingly, but has not, as of yet, booked them on their next tour.