For the punk crowd, this British band made a quick splash in the late 1970s with this single: King Rocker by Generation X.
William Broad, John Towe and Tony James met forming the band Chelsea with John O’Hara, but soon found creative differences and the three left the band to form a new band.
Bob Andrews was recruited to be a guitarist with the new band, called Generation X, and Broad renamed himself with the moniker Billy Idol.
Getting some well-known gigs, including one in Paris with The Police and The Jam, the band did their first live radio recording for the BBC. John Towe was then asked to leave the band, and replaced by Mark Laff.
Generation X’s new line-up was signed to Chrysalis Records and released their first single Your Generation in September 1977. Performing on Marc Bolan’s Granada TV show Marc, the band stole the drum kit and and were banned by Granada TV for 10 years.
Wanting to define their band brand, Idol and James did a series of t-shirts which were worn by the band during shows and appearances, as they promoted Generation X throughout the UK.
For their second studio album, Valley of the Dolls, the first single was King Rocker, released in January 1979. Written by Idol and James (as was all the tracks), and thanks to extensive touring throughout 1978, helped propel the song onto the charts.
King Rocker would become the band’s highest chart single, reaching number 11 on the UK singles chart and the album peaking at number 51 on the UK album charts.
And although the band would break-up later in 1979, Generation X’s Idol would head into the next decade to launch a solo career.