Banned Biographies

Banned Biographies is an audio documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world’s stages.

Rebel Yell - The History of Generation X and Billy Idol

June 26th, 2020

In late 1976, William Broad, a 21 year old university drop-out, and his friend John Towe, a shop assistant and drummer, replied to an advert to form a new band. In this band (Chelsea) they began working with Tony James and Gene October. However, James and Broad - now known as Billy Idol - soon outgrew Chelsea and formed their own band, Generation X.

Just days later, the pair, along with Towe and young guitarist Bob (Derwood) Andrews, took to the stage as headliners at The Roxy club, Covent Garden. It wasn't all plain sailing though, and four years later Idol struck out on his own to seek fame and fortune in the US.

Forty years on, Billy Idol remains a giant star in the rock firmament... and the other members of Generation X didn't do too badly over the years either, as you'll find out in this episode.


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