British rocker Billy Idol narrowly cheated death during his heyday in the 1980s when his drug habit grew so severe, he was continually alternating between crack and heroin.

The WHITE WEDDING singer was so dependent on narcotics at the height of his music career, he would swap one hard drug addiction for another in his misguided attempts to cure his intense substance-taking.

Idol, 49, says, "By the late 1980s I was doing crack and heroin. I was either on one or the other. I would be trying to get off one, so I would do a ton of the next thing to try and cover up the fact you were getting over the last thing.

"And that gets dangerous because you're always trying to cheat and you never give anything up.

"It didn't really become that much of a problem until 10 years of the 1980s and five years of the 1990s had gone by and the things had gradually escalated.

"It led to where you didn't realise how much you were putting into your body. Your body can take a gigantic amount of punishment without you realising that you're starting to kill yourself."

Idol adds, "At one point I was staying up for three weeks at a time and s**t like that. You just don't realise how it creeps up on you."

13/03/2005 10:28