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Generation X

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(1976 – 1981)

The core members of Generation X, a seminal British band with heavy and influences, were Billy Idol (who has since maintained a remarkable 30+ year solo career) and bassist Tony James (later of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and for a spell Sisters of Mercy before settling in Carbon/Silicon). Generation X was formed in 1976 after guitarist Billy Idol (a.k. a William Broad) and bassist Tony James decided to go out on their own, leaving Gene October, the leader of their then band Chelsea. In December of 1976, they played the first punk gig at mecca club The Roxy in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood with friends from “the Bromley contingent” Siouxsie & The Banshees, a band featuring a young Sid Vicious.

The blatantly image conscious group soon secured management, fired their first drummer, and auditioned over 50 drummers before settling on Mark Laff of Subway Sect. They were photogenic and signed a worldwide long term deal to Chrysalis (also home of Blondie) and had popsmith Phil Wainman, producer of The Bay City Rollers and Sweet mix their debut album. In September 1977 they became the first punk group to “sell out” and lip synch their debut single Your Generation on TV’s Tops of The Pops, and also that month performed on Marc Bolan’s TV show just days before the T-Rex frontman’s death. Generation X also appeared in films like DOA and in Don Letts’ Punk Movie.

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