NARDWUAR V's PAUL
VANCOUVER - AUGUST 1996
Originally appeared in the internet magazine Nardwuar
Paul punches Johnny, 1996
Nardwuar: Who are you?
Paul Cook: What do you mean, who I am?
Nardwuar: Who are you? Youíre Paul Cook!
Paul Cook: Thatís right. Iím Paul Cook.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols!
Paul Cook: Thatís right.
Nardwuar: Now, Paul, howís your head?
Paul Cook: Howís my head?
Nardwuar: Werenít you hit by a bottle at the Roskilda Festival?
Paul Cook: No, I was hit by a can in the chest, actually.
Nardwuar: Did it hurt you very much?
Paul Cook: Naaaa. No, Ďcause Iím tough. I just carry on, you know.
Nardwuar: What about people throwing stuff. Was that because Johnny was singing with a cordless mic, and people werenít used to the cordless mic? What do you think about Johnny singing with a cordless mic?
Paul Cook: I donít think anything about it.
Nardwuar: Hey, Paul. Congratulations. The Sex Pistolsí Never Mind The Bollocks 8-track version of your record sells for one hundred dollars!
Paul Cook: The what?
Nardwuar: The 8-track version of your record. The Sex Pistolsí 8-track. Were you aware that an 8-track cartridge was created for the Sex Pistolsí Never Mind The Bollocks?
Paul Cook: I didnít even know there was an 8-track cartridge. I thought theyíd all gone out. I thought they were all redundant by the time Never Mind The Bollocks came out.
Nardwuar: No. Believe or not, itís selling for one hundred dollars!
Paul Cook: Well, did you know that "God Save The Queen" on the A&M label is worth one thousand pounds?!
Nardwuar: Well, did you also know, Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols, that Culture Club and Madonna 8-tracks are also worth a lot of money because they were created at such a late date? But it is amazing: The Sex Pistolsí 8-track one hundred dollars! And you donít even have a copy!
Paul Cook: I know. Can you get me one?
Nardwuar: Iíll bring one to the gig for you to sign and autograph?
Paul Cook: Oh, can I keep it?
Nardwuar: Well, actually it is broken. But we can show it to you!
Paul Cook: Ha ha.
Nardwuar: If you can get us backstage, Paul, I am sure weíll bring you a good one to you.
Paul Cook: Iíll see what I can do. As long as I can just have a look at it, yeah. But thatís ícause we were just such a seminal band. Anything to do with the Sex Pistols is worth money because weíre so great.
Nardwuar: You were incredible. You were the Sex Pistols. In fact, you inspired so many records. I have a record in my collection. Itís called Pink Panther Punk, and itís like Pink Panther doing punk songs and it never would have existed without you. The Sex Pistols inspired that!
Paul Cook: Exactly.
Nardwuar: Thank you for the Pink Panther Punk record, Paul Cook.
Paul Cook: Exactly. What more can I say? The Pink Panther sings punk.
Nardwuar: Paul, did you and Steve once steal musical equipment from David Bowie?
Paul Cook: Yeah, we did. I think. I think Steve did actually. I donít know if I was with him at the time. I canít remember. Because we used to live in a place called Hammersmith in London, and all the bands used to play there at a place called the Hammersmith Odeon. And we wanted to get a band together but we were so poor, we couldnít afford our equipment. So we had to go and steal it. I know thatís very naughty but what else can a poor boy do?
Nardwuar: And who did you steal from but the big guy, Bowie!
Paul Cook: They can afford it, these guys, you know?
Nardwuar: Do you remember coming to Vancouver, BC and filming that movie Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains? It was with you, Jonesy, Simonon, Diane Lane, and Laura Dern?
Paul Cook: I do, yeah. I remember it well. I spent a lot of time in Vancouver. Itís a nice place.
Nardwuar: Didnít Steve Jones have an affair with a woman called Trudy Partridge? Does that name ring any bells to you?
Paul Cook: I donít know. Whoís she?
Nardwuar: She is a woman in Vancouver who apparently had an affair with Steve during the filming of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.
Paul Cook: I donít know. I mean, Steveís had affairs with thousands of women, you know, so he could have well done, yeah.
Nardwuar: He loves the "birds" and the "beer," doesnít he?
Paul Cook: He does indeed.
Nardwuar: Now, the original drummer from PiL was from Vancouver as well, wasnít he? Jim Walker? Do you know him at all?
Paul Cook: Yeah, apparently. No, I donít know him, but I sort of vaguely remember that. Youíll have to ask John about that. I donít know.
Nardwuar: Paul, what do you remember about filming that movie in Vancouver, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains? You were flown to Vancouver to film this movie. It was after the Pistols had broken up.
Paul Cook: Yeah, I donít know actually how we got involved in that really. We were just at a loose end after the Pistols and we didnít really know what to do with ourselves, you know. We were pursuaded into doing this film by people giving us large amounts of money. So we went and did this terrible film, I think, which I have never actually seen, you know.
Nardwuar: Well, that is another we will have to bring to you. We will have to bring Paul Cook a Sex Pistols 8-track and a copy of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains in return for our backstage pass, right?
Paul Cook: O.K.!
Nardwuar: Also, I was wondering, Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols, Vancouver is going to be the last date of the Filthy Lucre tour. Does that mean we have the honour of having the last ever gig by The Sex Pistols here in Vancouver?
Paul Cook: Yeah, on the North American continent, I think this will be the last concert by the Sex Pistols ever.
Nardwuar: Itís pretty incredible that Johnny Rotten is married to Arri-up of The Slitsí mom! Like, he is married not to Arri-up, but to Arri-up of The Slitsí mom!
Paul Cook: To Nora, thatís right.
Nardwuar: Is she a German heiress?
Paul Cook: Um, a German what?
Nardwuar: Is she a German heiress, you know, a German aristocrat?
Paul Cook: No, I donít think she is, actually. No. Sheís German, definitely, but whether she is a heiress or not, I wouldnít really know. You will have to ask John about that.
Nardwuar: Paul, being in the Sex Pistols and also being in The Professionals with Steve Jones which came after The Sex Pistols, right?
Paul Cook: Yes.
Nardwuar: Can you please tell me who really wrote the tune "One Two Three" because it seems to be a remake of The Avengersí tune "Second to None"?
Paul Cook: I havenít heard The Avengersí tune, but Steve actually wrote the majority of "One Two Three" but he actually worked with The Avengers as well.
Nardwuar: Yeah, heís pretty notorious for driving around Los Angeles on his motorbike kind of yelling vague sexual entendres at women. Like, heís even written a tune called "Nasty Ho" for his other band, The Neurotic Outsiders. Do you think when he produced The Avengers, he got intimate with Penelope Houston at all, Paul Cook?
Paul Cook: Um, it is a possibility. He does like to get intimate with women, I know that.
Nardwuar: What sort of sexually transmitted diseases have you and the Sex Pistols gotten over the years?
Paul Cook: What, from Steve Jones?
Nardwuar: Well, not just from him. What have the Sex Pistols "acquired" over the years?
Paul Cook: Um, well if you would just give us a chance, weíve only just gotten back together again, you know. Come on.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook, itís incredible that after the Sex Pistols, there were The Professionals.You also went on to work with a band called The Greedies.
Paul Cook: Well, that was just a make-shift band with Phil Lynott and anybody else who wanted to get up on stage, you know.
Nardwuar: Thatís wild to think that the Sex Pistols would be working with a guy from Thin Lizzy. What a strange kind of pairing!
Paul Cook: Um, not really, ícause I mean Phil was a great guy, you know. It is a shame, itís really sad that he died and all that, but thereís another one whoís gone, you know. Phil Lynott was a great guy.
Nardwuar:What do you think about how Phil Lynott died?
Paul Cook: Well, itís tragic. Itís drugs again, you know. Iíve known so many people who arenít around anymore. Now people keep going on to us about, "Oh, youíre forty now and you canít do it." But we just think, "Hey, Iím forty, and thereís of people who didnít make it."
Nardwuar: Did Steve ever do any drugs with Phil Lynott?
Paul Cook: I donít know. I wouldnít like to say.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, when Sid was in Rikers Island Prison, do you know if Sidís mom scored any drugs for him to shoot in his cell?
Paul Cook: I doubt it. Thereís been a lot stories about it, but I couldnít say. I wasnít there in New York, you know, but...
Nardwuar: When was the last time you saw Sid? Was it at Winterland?
Paul Cook: Um, I think it was, actually, because he came back to England briefly after that and went to live in New York. So I didnít really see much of him after we split up.
Nardwuar: His mom apparently was quite a druggie though, wasnít she?
Paul Cook: His mom was a bit of a hippie from the í60s. She used to go on the Marrakesh Trail and all that stuff. I donít know. I wouldnít like to say. I donít like to spread rumours about what people do with their private lives.
Nardwuar: Did Sid invent the bog toilet paper tie? Was that his invention?
Paul Cook: No, I donít think he did, but he invented The Pogo.
Nardwuar: He never beat you up though, did he?
Paul Cook: No.
Nardwuar: Like when you were riding in the limousine to sign that famous contract outside Buckingham Palace, werenít you beaten up by Sid on the way to the A&M contract signing?
Paul Cook: No, what happened is that we all had a big fight in the back of the car because it was a bit early in the morning for us. We had to get up at nine oíclock and everybody was in a really foul mood, and we just ended up having a big fight in the back of the limo. Everybody got a bit hurt. [laughs] It was just another ordinary day with the Pistols, you know.
Nardwuar: What do you think, Paul Cook, that Malcolm McLaren did wrong? What exactly did he do wrong? Like, didnít he help a bit, because like touring the cowboy infested South, that was kind of genius, wasnít it? Playing these un-punk venues, donít you think that was kind of neat, like didnít Malcolm do some things right? Like what exactly did he do wrong?
Paul Cook: Well, he had a lot of crazy ideas but what he did wrong was he didnít keep the band together. He was like pivotal really in helping us split up by not looking after us. He was more interested in the media rather than looking after the band.
Nardwuar: Touring the South of the USA, though, was an amazing idea. Like touring the South, bringing a punk band to the South. Didnít you think that was kind of genius on his part?
Paul Cook: Yeah, it was great for him, but not such good fun for us.
Nardwuar: Who pays Malcolm right now? Is he broke?
Paul Cook: I donít know. I donít think so. He makes records and everything. He makes crappy records and does lots of interviews for magazines and stuff like that, so I donít know.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook, did you ever steal anything from Malcolmís Sex Shoppe? Did you ever break in and steal anything?
Paul Cook: Yeah, originally he used to have a shop called Let It Rock before Sex and before we had the band, Steve and myself used to go there and try and rip stuff off from him. But I donít know if we ever managed to. Steve used to, I think.
Nardwuar: In The Sex Pistols file, it shows Steveís criminal record as going back to 1968. He was really a wild one, wasnít he?
Paul Cook: He was a bit of a loose cannon!
Nardwuar: Was Chrissy Hynde, Paul Cook, ever considered to be the singer of the Sex Pistols? This was before Johnny joined.
Paul Cook: No, we werenít. She was around London at the time, and she was a big fan. She used to follow the Pistols around actually. But we never got involved with her before John joined the band. She came along after, really.
Nardwuar: What do you think of Chrissy Hynde leaving Ray Davies for Jim Kerr of Simple Minds?
Paul Cook: Well, I donít know what all these girls see in Jim Kerr, to tell you the truth.
Nardwuar: Ray Davies! The Kinks!
Paul Cook: Exactly! For Jim Kerr!
Nardwuar: Paul Cook, a German band called the Pack has said, "The Sex Pistols were punk, but [their] recordings werenít punky." Clinically, your record was very clean. "Never Mind The Bollocks" was a very clean record. "The recording technique must be appropriate for the statement of punk. It must be trashcan sound." Do you care to comment? Do you think Never Mind The Bollocks was overproduced, and it wasnít as rough as it could have been?
Paul Cook: No, I think itís a great album. It still stands up today. That is why all these bands have got it wrong. They made crappy records and now nobody listens to them.
Nardwuar: Are American bands responsible, do you think, for bringing heroin into the British music scene, because before in Britain there wasnít that much heroin. Did the American bands bring the heroin over when they came over to you? The Heartbreakers, etc?
Paul Cook: Um, well they were all well-known junkies when they came so I suppose they carried on. But I wouldnít blame them. Itís up to individual people to get involved with it or not. You canít blame somebody else. Itís always down to yourself at the end of the day whether you take anything.
Nardwuar: What was it like playing on the sessions for Johnny Thundersí solo record? Like you did the songs "London Boys," "Daddy Rolling Stone," "Pipeline." It was like a real all-star affair with Phil Lynott, Steve Marriott. Was Thunders out of it? What was the recording of that like, Paul Cook?
Paul Cook: It was really good fun. We had a really good night down there on night when Steve Marriott and Phil Lynott came down. It was all right. Johnny [Thunders] was a bit strung out sometimes. It was okay. I mean, on that track "Daddy Rolling Stone" that you just talked about, all three of them are doing a verse each. Itís quite strange listening to that track now because none of them are alive.
Nardwuar: Is that the extent of your working with Thunders? Did you work on anything else after that?
Paul Cook: We used to play a few live gigs together, but he was too out-to-lunch for my liking at the time. And thereís another one whoís gone. Everyone youíre talking about is dead.
Nardwuar: Did Steve ever think of getting Glen Matlock whoís not dead back in the band when you were on tour in America and things were going bad? This was mentioned in Noel Monkís book.
Paul Cook: No, we didnít ever think of that at all. That Noel Monkís book is a load of rubbish, anyway.
Nardwuar: Has Johnny served any "salty tasting mayonnaise" flavoured sandwiches to Matlock yet?
Paul Cook: Well, he hasnít told me if he has, you know? He seems in good health, so I donít think he has.
Nardwuar: What do you think of Gianluca Vialli signing to Chelsea?
Paul Cook: I think itís great. It seems weíre going to have every player on the Chelsea team, their name will end with "O" or "I" so it is going to be great. Vialli Gianluca is a great name. I know. And weíve signed another Italian called Roberto DiMatteo for six million pounds as well.
Nardwuar: Almost as much as the Sex Pistols are getting on this Filthy Lucre tour!
Paul Cook: Much more. Much more. We couldnít even afford to buy him if we put all our resources together!
Nardwuar: Did The Ruts play better reggae than the Clash?
Paul Cook: I thought they all played terrible reggae.
Nardwuar: But The Ruts! The Ruts were amazing!
Paul Cook: They couldnít play reggae to save their lives. Youíre joking. They could play rock maybe, but reggae, forget it. Leave that to the rasta men.
Nardwuar: Do you like brothel creepers, Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols?
Paul Cook: Iíve got a pair on now!
Paul Cook: Yeah! How did you know? Youíve done your homework, havenít you, Mr. Smart Aleck, whatever your name is?
Nardwuar: Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Paul Cook. [laughs]
What is Steve wearing on stage? Youíre wearing brothel creepers. What is Steve wearing? Is he wearing that great white hat he had? He had that see-through mesh shirt. Whatís Steve doing on stage?
Paul Cook: Heís showing his ass a lot of the time. Heís wearing these leather pants that have a tiger print on them or something like that. Heís wearing a big pimpís hat, a big huggy bear.
Nardwuar: You had one shirt with breasts on it. Do you still have that? What happened to all your outfits?
Paul Cook: People ripped them off from us years ago and now theyíre selling them for loads of money. To the Japanese! Itís the Japanese who spend fortunes on all that shit.
Nardwuar: Have you seen any of that? Isnít there something in the Rock íní Roll Hall of Fame like Sidís bloody T-shirt? Is that authentic?
Paul Cook: Yeah, probably not. A lot of stuff that theyíve got in that Rock íní Roll Hall of Fame isnít authentic anyway, you know. So I wouldnít believe it.
Nardwuar: Do you think Johnny Rotten would ever have written a song called "Nasty Ho"? As I mentioned earlier, Steve Jones wrote a song "Nasty Ho" for his band The Neurotic Outsiders. Do you think Johnny would have approved of having a song like that integrated into The Sex Pistols, if you were to get writing songs again? Like Steve is gong crazy! Heís writing songs like "Nasty Ho"! How would that fit into The Sex Pistols line of things?
Paul Cook: I donít think it would actually. Steveís got this thing about women, you know, so I donít know, thatís Steveís thing. Weíre all grown-up boys now; each to their own, you know.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, why should people care about the Sex Pistols right now in 1996? Why should they care about you?
Paul Cook: They shouldnít! [laughs] Because weíre a great band still, but they donít have to care. We donít care if they donít care. So there you go.
Nardwuar: Thanks very much for your time, Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols. I really appreciate it, Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols. Finally, Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols.
Paul Cook: Listen, one question. Do you think people will know that itís Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols that youíre talking to?
Nardwuar: Well you are Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols! You were responsible for my Pink Panther Punk record! And THAT 8-track, the Sex Pistols on 8-track worth one hundred dollars! But like I said, Culture Club and these other bands are also worth a lot too because they were made so late. The Dead Boys were on 8-track
Paul Cook: Yeah yeah yeah, you told me that already. Go on.
Nardwuar: Stiv Bators is on 8-track.
Paul Cook: Oh, great. Canít wait.
Nardwuar: Paul Cook, did your mom ever give you a punch in the nose for Christmas?
Paul Cook: Not for Christmas. She used to give me a punch in the nose anytime she felt like it.
Nardwuar: Because she promised to give you a punch in the nose for Christmas?
Paul Cook: Yeah, thatís right, Mr. Smart Aleck whoís done his homework!
Nardwuar: All right, Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols, keep on rocking in the free world, and doot doola doot doo...
Paul Cook: Doot doo.
All material ©1998/2002 'Philjens'/www.cookandjones.co.uk