Friday 20 November 2020

Ready, Steady, Friday!

A woman of many tee shirts

For this week's Be-Bop Friday I'm delighted to hand over the reins to a new Twitter friend of mine, Carolyn Perry. Carolyn only came to my notice fairly recently; I knew she was a huge punk fan, but it was the tee shirt she was sporting in her profile picture that gave the game away - wearing an iconic '45' shirt can only mean one thing - another Generation X disciple!
Thank you for taking the time, Carolyn. 

"I didn’t get to see Generation X until 1993 when they played a reunion gig at the Astoria as part of a Billy Idol concert. I grew up in Stourbridge and it wasn’t until I started going out with a punk in late ‘77 that I occasionally managed to get into Brum for gigs, though it often involved sneaking out of the house and getting changed at mates’ houses. The lyrics to Kiss Me Deadly really bring back that time for me, just substitute the number 30 bus for the 130 to Birmingham.

‘Seven o'clock they stand in rank

For the thirty bus uptown

And later in a downstairs room

She pulls her lover down

In ecstasy but they can't make a sound

Case her mother might come down’

By the time I left home and moved to London in September '79 Generation X were all but done, and then Billy Idol moved to the US and went solo. It was an exciting time for music with the launch of MTV and Billy’s songs were perfect for new media of music video. Accused of being ‘too pretty for punk’, Billy really suited this format and is a charismatic performer (also I am a sucker for blond spikey hair, which the aforementioned boyfriend also had). I particularly like Billy’s early solo stuff – White Wedding is a phenomenal song and Rebel Yell is my favourite of his albums. I even joined the Billy Idol fan club at one point and have still got the T-shirt!

Idol with guitarist Steve Stevens (Carolyn's pic)

Idol and James wrote some great songs together, and I know I’m in the minority but I think Generation X/Gen X were underrated. I’m hoping that there might be another reunion at some point, but until then I’m glad that Billy is still rocking. I saw him on his 2014 and 2018 tours and he didn’t disappoint. He’s responsible for a lot of timeless tunes and let’s face it, 2020 has been the year for Dancing With Myself*P.S. This video of still sends shivers down my spine."

Generation X - Kiss Me Deadly (1978)

* Funnily enough, Carolyn, I was only saying the same thing myself.  


  1. Agree - Generation X were underrated. If only for that song that deserve to be mentioned alongside the Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and Siouxsie & The Banshees. Their debut album is a great thing.

    1. Their debut album is a great thing, RD; some would argue made even greater on its American release with the inclusion of Wild Youth and Wild Dub. 1978 really was a great time to be alive.

    2. So pleased to hear that you also think they are underrated, Mr Rigid Digit!

  2. Lovely guest post - lovely photos! Carolyn wears her Tshirts well.
    Hope she was fan of Derwood too... :-)

    1. Thank you, C. I'm sure she is! I've always thought Derwood was the most exciting guitarist to emerge from punk's 'first wave'.

    2. I certainly am a fan of Derwood too....
      I am glad you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  3. Excellent guest post. Billy was very 'pretty' but he had lots of attitude too and I too liked the blond spikey hair.

    White Wedding and Rebel Yell are great to dance to although I haven't, for quite some time. Will have to rectify that.

    1. Thanks, Alyson. I remember seeing a photo of young Billy with Debbie Harry taken c.1978/79; I'm sure there were a few kids at the time who would have found it a little bit confusing...

    2. Thanks Alyson - I am glad you enjoyed it. I do quite a bit of dancing round the kitchen these days... not very punk/new wave but better than nothing!