Billy Idol, Mike Peters & Tom Bailey Discuss How Rock 'N' Roll Came to America in 'Dare To Be Different' Documentary: Exclusive Clip

Denis McNamara and Mike Guidotti in Dare to Be Different
Andrew D’Apolite

Denis McNamara and Mike Guidotti in the documentary Dare to Be Different.

In the 1980s, the U.K. and Europe were brewing some of the biggest names in rock music: U2, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, to name a few. While those bands certainly blew up stateside shortly after, it wasn't by happenstance. In fact, Americans may have never been introduced to these greats without a radio station based in Long Island, New York called WLIR.

The small group of radio visionaries at WLIR -- including program director Denis McNamara -- are highlighted in a new documentary titled Dare To Be Different, which is premiering at Tribeca Film Festival Thursday (April 27). The film includes McNamara, the 'LIR crew and some of the biggest artists of the era telling the story of how they battled the FCC, the record labels, mega-radio and all the conventional rules to create a musical movement that brought the New Wave to America.

Just ahead of its debut, Billboard has an exclusive clip from the doc featuring Billy Idol, Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey and The Alarm's lead singer Mike Peters discussing WLIR and the transition of rock music from Europe to the U.S.

"They were doing the same thing that the bands were doing by just being different and outrageous," Bailey says in the clip. "They were saying, 'Hey guys, move out the way, we're here now.' They were using the same kind of dynamics as the bands themselves to say, 'It's time for a change.'"

Watch the exclusive clip below.

If you want to catch the film during the festival, here are the screening times:

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 8:30 pm – Festival Hub, NYC
Friday, April 28, 2017, 9:45 pm – Regal Battery Park 9, NYC
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:45 pm – Regal Battery Park 9, NYC
Sunday, April 30, 2017, 3:45 pm – Regal Battery Park 9, NYC
Sunday, April 30, 2017, 9:45 pm – Regal Battery Park 5, NYC