Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Generation X-King Rocker
Generation X were formed on 21 November 1976 by Billy Idol, Tony James and John Towe. Three members of Generation X were previously in Chelsea along with lead singer Gene October, they soon broke away from October and selected the name Generation X (after Jane Deverson's 1965 sociology book, a copy of which was owned by Idol's mother).
Idol switched from guitar to lead vocals, and Bob "Derwood" Andrews joined as lead guitarist after leaving the Fulham band 'Paradox'. This was the band that were at the centre of the infamous riot at Fulham Art centre in 1976, which is where Billy Idol first saw Bob Andrews. Generation X played their first concert on 21 December 1976 at The Roxy (becoming the very first band to play at the venue). Towe was later replaced on drums by Mark Laff (ex-Subway Sect), to complete the 'official' line-up, before the band signed to Chrysalis Records and released their first single, "Your Generation" in September, 1977.
Towe was replaced on drums by Mark Laff (ex-Subway Sect), to complete the 'official' line-up, before the band signed to Chrysalis Records and released their first single, "Your Generation" in September, 1977. This line-up would remain through their first two albums, the self titled, Generation X (1977), followed by Valley of the Dolls (1979).
n 1980, Andrews and Laff left the band (subsequently forming the post-punk band, Empire), to be replaced in Generation X by The Clash and Cowboys International's former drummer Terry Chimes, and former Chelsea guitarist James Stevenson.
Generation X made a last stand, re-recording some of the Sweet Revenge material, as well as several new songs. With this final release, Kiss Me Deadly (1981), the band abbreviated its name to Gen X. Kiss Me Deadly included a version of "Dancing with Myself", first recorded as part of Sweet Revenge with Andrews and Laff, and which Idol would later cover as a solo artist to kick-start his own career with a hit.
Idol went on to pursue a solo career in the United States, where, managed by Kiss manager Bill Aucoin, he became a pop star. James later formed Sigue Sigue Sputnik and performed with bands including The Sisters of Mercy and, much later on, Carbon/Silicon with Mick Jones of BAD/The Clash.