Monday 8 January 2018


"James, Brunel, reading Mathematics. And the NME"
When Tony James (pictured above left), formerly of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik introduced himself on last week's University Challenge (a Christmas themed version featuring distinguished alumni) he said that he read Mathematics in the seventies at Brunel University, and the NME. Judging by his woeful performance (and that of his fellow postgraduates it has to be said) I think they must all have been sagging off and reading the NME in the pub round the corner.

Generation X - reading the dots

It's quite fitting that they only scored 45 (they were absolutely mullered by Reading) - Tony James being no stranger to writing the odd hit single.

I also recently discovered this fabulous interview he did on Soho Radio a couple of years back with Gary Crowley (I'm sorry, Jeremy Paxman and Gary Crowley in the same piece). James talks candidly about punk, the Pistols, Malcolm McLaren, Bernie Rhodes, Mick Jones and, of course, his songwriting partner in crime Billy Idol.

(Fast Fwd to 50:10 for the interview)

And how refreshing to hear Wild Dub on the radio. Gen X, along with many other first generation punk and new wave bands, were massively influenced by reggae. For those of you who don't know it, it's on the B side to Wild Youth (and for some inexplicable reason turned up on the US pressing of their first album) and must be played at full tilt. Until your chest hurts. A heavy heavy dub, punk rockers.

Generation X - Wild Dub


  1. 'Wild Dub' is a truly magnificent slab o' noise, much loved in this house.

  2. Oh yes, Wild Dub, I bought the Wild Youth single when it came out and I couldn't believe this Bside, unlike anything I'd ever heard before, brilliant.
    (Plus I had such a crush on Derwood....)

  3. It's up there with New Rose and White Man in Hammersmith Palais - a defining slice of what punk was all about. And is still sounds fresh today, unlike, say, Anarchy in the UK which just sounds turgid.

  4. Pity Billy wasn't with him. I'd love to see him try to out-snarl Paxo.

  5. I think Billy's more of a Pointless man...

  6. He was in The Sisters of Mercy for a while as well in the late 80s. He appeared on the third, relatively unloved Sisters album. I'm not sure he did much to be honest, he has no writing credit on the album, and I remember an interview at the time where Andrew Eldritch was doubting his commitment, talking about him in the way that Jose Mourinho talks about a player he didn't sign after his team has lost.

    1. My SOS knowlege is waffer (sic - Monty Python) thin, so I will have to take your word for it. I like your analogy though :)