Welcome to first review in the Billy Idol Series. I am going to do album reviews for all albums by the 80’s icon, Billy Idol. We will start with his stint in the band Generation X from 1978 all the way up to his 2018 release ‘Vital Idol: Revitalized’ (assuming that is the latest release by the time I get to it).
I was going to wait until I got the debut album on vinyl to start the series, but I am not the most patient person and since I have the next 7 or so on vinyl already, I will go ahead and start now. So, without further adieu, here is the first of many reviews…
Back in 1976 at the tender age of 21, guitarist William Broad joined the band Chelsea after answering an ad for musicians. Also answering that add were bass player Tony James and drummer John Towe. They would join up with singer John O’Hara to form the band. The band would tour and do mostly covers, but William and Tony became fast friends and felt they could do better so they grabbed John Towe and all left the band.
They would be the founding members of the band that would become known as Generation X. Now, where did the name come from. It wasn’t based on the fact that people born in this time were known as Gen Xers. The name actually came from a book William’s mom was reading called Generation X which was book on popular youth culture from 1965 by British journalists Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett.
This new band needed a guitarists so they hired 17 year old guitarist Bob “Derwood” Andrews from a band called Paradox. That wasn’t the only change. They needed a guitarist because William decided to drop the guitar and become the lead singer.