Jane Deverson—the forgotten poet who invented Generation X

generation X book titleIf you Google Jane Deverson all you will find is that she was the journalist, who with Charles Hamblett, invented the catchy term ‘Generation X’  to describe the disaffected youth born just after the close of the Second World War. Today they are better known as ‘ Baby Boomers ‘, but back in 1963, when she co-wrote the feature in question for the magazine ‘Woman’s Own’, that particular label had not yet been invented. Anyway, Generation X sounds a lot cooler. A book followed in 1964 and it was a copy of this, which budding punk Billy Idol found in his mother’s home, that inspired him to form a band with the same name.

Fast forward eight years to 1972 and the thirty-two year old publishes Night Edge, a collection of distinctly visceral poems whose imagery often recalls the nihilism of Ted Hughes’ Crow, which had appeared two years earlier:

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The Beatles as a religious cult

Found in Photoplay- A British Film Magazine from March 1964, this piece by Ken Ferguson who appears to have been the magazine's editor. It was called 'Are the Beatles a Religion' and has soundbites from fans, vicars (who had more of a voice in 1964) teachers, impresarios and the lads themselves. The 'Adam' referred to is Adam Faith, a pop star of the time. 'Cliff', of course, is Cliff Richard…here is an abridged version:

Beatlemania, is a form of hysterical worship instigated by four young men who call themselves The Beatles. John, Paul, George, Ringo have written themselves into musical history with their savage, pulsating, hypnotic sound.

The other evening I felt the full blast and fury of Beatlemania as I sat in a theatre along with almost 2000 screaming, hysterical worshippers of the Beatles. It was fantastic. On stage, the four boys moved their lips and went through the motions of a performance but nothing could be heard above the roars of mass appreciation. How did it begin? Why did it begin? Where will it end?

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