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Re: Generation X

Posted by ESC on January 29, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Billy Idol posted by The Fallen on January 29, 2002

: : : While it is a fairly recent term, I was wondering who coined the phrase?

: :
: : I found this if it's of any use
: : A 1960s English paperback about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in the London mod scene.

: : also check the archive on this site for some more details.

: This definitively will be of no use whatsoever, but as an idle aside, Generation X was the name chosen by Billy Idol (of "With A Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding" fame) for his appallingly bad nascent UK punk band before he went solo. I only remember one single release, which is, trust me, a major blessing.

You're both right. It started with the paper and Billy Idol helped popularize it.

"There have been three major demographic generations identified in the past century: the 'Children of the Depression,' the 'Baby Boom Generation,' and 'Generation X.' For ease of reference, though it doesn't fit the facts precisely, we talk of the first as being born between 1920 and 1945, the Baby Boomers between 1946 and 1965, and Generation X between 1965 and 1985.

GENERATION X -- In the late 1980s a new demographic generation, Generation X, began to be noticed. The name was derived from the book 'Generation X' , by Charles Hamblett and Jane Deverson, who interviewed alienated British mods and rockers and let them speak for themselves. British rock star Billy Idol saw the book and named his band after it. In the late 1980s Canadian public opinion pollster Allan Gregg gave a speech on this new demographic group and tagged it with the name of Billy Idol's former band. Then Douglas Coupland, a young Canadian cartoonist and author, borrowed Gregg's Generation X speech title and created for 'Vista,' a business magazine, a comic strip based on his generation. The strip featured young workers who were smarter than their boomer bosses but caught in dead-end jobs. When the 29-year-old Coupland published his novel 'Generation X' in 1991 the image and name gained increasing recognition." From "Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley" by Stuart Berg Flexner and Anne H. Soukhanov (Oxford University Press, New York, 1997)/ Page 225, 227.