I wrote yesterday about my lack of love or respect for The Dickies and their take on the theme from the Banana Splits. They weren’t the only new wave/punk lot riding high in the charts who I despised (and at 15 years old, if you didn’t like a band or musician, they had to be despised….merely not liking wasn’t good enough).

Billy Idol and his band Generation X really got on my tits (hey, I know that’s not a PC description, but I’m thinking back to the sort of things I would say when talking to mates in my teenage years) for the simple reason that I thought he came aross as a complete wanker when he appeared on Top of The Pops and in print through the interviews he gave to the music press. They had already enjoyed a slightly more than minor hit a couple of years previously when this monstrosity just about went Top 10 in January 1979:-

mp3 : Generation X – King Rocker

Tedious, tiresome and cliched. And the song isn’t much better. The fact that Billy Idol would, just a couple of years later, relocate to New York and use his cartoon punk persona to find mainstream success, was no real surprise. His hit singles of the 80s are unlistenable.

What I didn’t know until looking into the release of King Rocker is that a fair bit of its success was down to it being released in five different formats, with the standard black vinyl being accompanied by red, pink, orange and yellow vinyl, all with different sleeves. It also had a cover version on the b-side:-

mp3 : Generation X – Gimme Some Truth

Yup, the John Lennon protest song. As recorded for a John Peel session in July 1977. It’s every bit as cartoon sounding as the single featured yesterday…..truth, truth, truth, truth, truth!!!!!!

I promise not to be as grumpy next time I’m on…’s SWC time again tomorrow


5 thoughts on “NO IDOL OF MINE

  1. 3 responses in one:

    The Dickies – I didn’t mind it but preferred the original cartoon theme version.
    The Toy Dolls – Urgh! In every possible way.
    Billy Idol – a preening, prancing, plastic punk. I didn’t like him at all (looking at him made my face ache) but, I confess, to enjoying Generation X and some of those unlistenable solo efforts. I have no shame. My record collection is testament to this.

  2. Blimey JC I don’t think I’ve ever read such vitriol in one of your posts. For what its worth, I didn’t find Gen X unlistenable, but they did come across as a blatant example of major label, radio-friendly punk.

    The Dickies track – I have a fond memory of dancing to it with a punk when I was a kid at the holiday camp we went to. The Toy Dolls were actually loved by one of my best punk mates who had quite a number of their albums. He got me into them and I can assure you there was more to them than their hit single.

  3. Apologies re: cartoon comment. It was of course live action. Cartoony is what I meant although even that is a poor description.

  4. Never a big fan of Gen X or Idol solo–“plastic punk” is a fair summation. But I was impressed listening to the tune on offer with the band. It’s a straightforward song with no crazy changes, but it’s played well and the production is good. But in that TOTP vid Idol looks like Bowie in The Labyrinth. Smackable.

  5. Yep. Billy Idol? I’m right on board with you this time. I’ll never forget seeing the loathsome and misogynist video for Sam Kinison’s “Wild Thing” desecration where the artiste was rolling in the mud with Jessica Hahn [the “secretary” who brought down the first Rev. Jim Bakker empire] in the late 80s. At first I thought that the tongue-wagging, leering human caricature in the clip was a Billy Idol impersonator and then the full horror of it struck me. It was the real thing!

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