Club Press Conference 18th March 1996
(Transcript from Melody Maker. 23rd March 1996)
PISTOLS ended months of speculation this week by announcing they are to reform
for a series of gigs, including an outdoor show at London’s Finsbury Park
on June 23 - as exclusively reported in the February 10 issue of Melody Maker.
The four original members of the Pistols hosted a press conference in front of
350 journalists from around the world at the 100 Club in Oxford St, London, on
Monday (March 18). Before the band’s arrival, five transvestites in skimpy
DayGlo outfits handed out cheese rolls and jellied eels, while tapes of Second
World War songs were played over the Union Jack festooned PA. A huge Union
Jack was also draped over the podium. In the middle was a photo of Princess Diana
with “Queen Of Tarts” emblazoned across her eyes, in the style of the
“God Save The Queen” single sleeve. The Pistols’ wives and girlfriends,
Steve Severin, Eddie Tudorpole and Vivienne Westwood’s son were preset.
immediately demanded a beer.
“All right, we’re here, who’s first?"
do you think about Malcolm McLaren’s comments in Melody Maker that you’re
just dray horses out for your last ride before being put out to pasture?
"I’m, glad he’s still doing our press for us.”
are you on any prescribed medication that we should know about?
“The only thing I’m on is ego, and I’ve got more than enough to
is sad isn’t it?
: “Pardon can I have that in English? It’s sad that an arsehole like
you doesn’t appreciate the effort we’ve gone to.”
much money are you getting?
“More than The Beatles and f**king right ‘n’ all. Cos this is the
only thing that’s ever come out of Britain that’s actually worth the
it a complete about-face from everything you’ve ever stood for?
“Listen, we invented punk, we write the rules. You follow. Not the other
your first gig?
“You’ve got to rehearse some place.”
you still hate each other?
“Yes, with a vengeance, but we share a common cause, and it’s your money.”
much are you getting?
“Don’t be nosey.”
“I’ll tell you at the end of the year.”
do you think of Green Day?
“Childish prattle. It’s the same old shit really, nothing’s changed.
Through the years we’ve all gone off and done different things and left it
up to others to make waves but nobody out there has done bollocks all to change
this world, so here it is, part two. And quite frankly, the Sex Pistols never
finished properly so this is what this is about, to put a full stop on it.”
has it taken you so long?
“Well I ran away from it for a long time. I couldn’t cope with it because
it went tragically wrong due to management and various other arsehole members.
Money isn’t the be all and end all. I’m also incredibly spiteful and
when someone thinks something is so sacrosanct that it should never be touched,
I wanna touch it.”
about a Pistols reunion in the past you’ve said, “What are we gonna
do, dig up Sid?” Do you think that might make a better spectacle?
“I thought about that, but Sid’s ashes were blown all over Heathrow
airport! We’d need a f***ing Hoover!”
you writing new material?
“No, we haven’t even rehearsed yet. This is only the third time we’ve
even seen each other. We’ve spent five minutes together and it’s going
you gonna get rid of the monarchy for us this time?
"No, Our very good fifth member, Lady Di, is doing an excellent job. In fact
we’ve offered to do a benefit for Madame Di cos she really does need the
cash, just like us.”
would Sid think off all this?
“He’d love it, if he could think at all. Sid was nothing more than a
coat hanger to fill in an empty space on stage. These are the people that wrote
the songs and now we’d like to be paid for it. Every f**er has lived off
us and we’ve not seen penny one or respect. If you wanna complain about people
grabbing money, then look at all those trashy little pop stars you’ve got
out there left right and centre. I don’t see you bitching about any of those
bumholes. Is it cos we’re working class that that means we have no access
to cash, period?”
live in Malibu!
“Should we just stay in our council estates?”
you old farts like the Stones?
“There ain’t nothing wrong with getting old. Like a fine wine, I’ve
matured with age.”
what have you been doing for the last 20 years apart from your writing your book?
“I’ve done a lot thanks John. I’ve got an album coming out this
month on Creation. It’s called “Who’s He When He’s Not At
far can you spit these days?
“Do you wanna test it?”
you like Oasis?
“They’re just a pop band, you know.”
“Don’t wanna say anything about them, they’re really hard and they
might hit us.”
gonna support you on tour?
“Some bunch of F***ing geriatrics. Who cares? Let’s face it nobody is
gonna go for any of the support bands. Apparently the Buzzcocks are gonna be at
Finsbury Park but if you really want a good laugh, come late.”
first time you went to Finland they wouldn’t let you in, now they will. What
does that say about you as a band?
“It says nothing at all. Nobody cares about Finland.”
you expect anyone to start gobbing at you again?
“No, and quite Frankly I never appreciated that in the first place. I am
not no f***er’s spittoon.”
old are you all now?
“I’m 21 and I’ve been that way for 19 years. I’m 40. I’m
not the slightest bit ashamed about it. We’re not pretending to be kids.
We also don’t give a shit what we look like. We love our beer bellies and
you’re gonna too.”
do we call you, Johnny - Rotten or- -
“You’ll call me sir”
do you think of artists like Tricky doing something new?
“What Tricky’s doing isn’t new. That’s all samples of other
people’s stuff. That’s not new. There’s not one original thought
in there. By the way, I like Tricky.”
you think it’s inevitable that the Clash will follow suit and reform?
“We don’t know anything about The Clap.”
“I think they’ll do it next year. Cos they always did stuff after us
said you hated stadium rock bands but you are one now.
“No we’re not. What stadium would that be? You name the stadium and
I’ll call you a liar. Finsbury Park is not a stadium, it is a field.”
you like to appear in Hello magazine with Nora?
“We could make a threesome with Lady Di.”
“Not Fergie. That tart in a tent can stay where she is. That’s the bum
suck end of it. That’s The Clash of the royal family.”
many times have you been approached to do this?
“About 10 solid years of it. But all those have never really been solid offers.
This is happening because we actually sat down and bothered to think about it
and started to call in some of these arseholes offering all this money and have
no qualms whatsoever about taking them up on their big fat mouths.”
the concerts go well are you going to make this a permanent - - -
“No. No, the concerts won’t go well and no, it will not be permanent.
I mean, you know what this lot’s like. We always disappoint on the night.
And surely that’s the fun of it all. I hope [at] Finsbury Park it rains and
you get your wheelchairs stuck in the mud,”
Sid’s mother have any rights to the Sex Pistols stuff?
‘‘We look after her and her pussy. She has a cat.”
you play “Top Of The Pops”?
“No. No. It could never work. That show’s so bad. You’ve really
depressed me, just the f***ing thought of it.”
“The c***s wouldn’t have us on there 20 years ago, why should we go
“Unless. They pay. Now you must admit that’s a novel idea.”
are you gonna spend the money on?
“Prostitutes. Well I am anyway."
“He’s not joking either.”
you gonna play ‘EMI’ now that your record company (Virgin) is owned
“Can you please not mumble that again."
you think you’ve grown up?
“No. I’ve grown wide.”
on that note, it ended.
LUCRE - LIVE!
PARK, LONDON, N4
23rd June 1996
is a worn gun'
Review by David Sinclair, The Times. 25th
we’re not that f****** bad after all, are we?” announced a typically
defiant John Lydon (née Rotten), halfway through the Sex Pistols’
first British show in 20 years. And, if you cut a swath through all the hype this
reunion has generated and the scepticism with which it has understandably been
greeted, then he had probably got it about right.
although dubbed the Filthy Lucre tour (after a tabloid headline from 1977 (“Punk?
Call It Filthy Lucre”), there is no doubt that the Pistols were out to prove
more than their ability to make money. Part of the “unfinished business”
to which Lydon referred at their recent press conference involved the dismantling
of their long-standing reputation as the band that could not play.
no matter what they did they were never going to recapture the sense of outrage
that they generated so effortlessly in their prime. Indeed, it is a measure of
the group’s baleful influence that nobody now gets worked up about pop stars
using bad language in their lyrics, and there was an air of relaxed camaraderie
among the 30,000-strong crowd as they sang along with genial gusto to the f-words
in the opening number, Bodies.
Pistols had obviously done their homework and despite a somewhat arthritic feel
to the rhythm section, they thundered through Seventeen and No Feelings with surprising
conviction. But it was hard to ignore the element of pantomime in the performance.
With his hair arranged in vertical spikes, Lydon looked more like a postcard-punk
caricature than he ever did in his original incarnation. “Oh, how you longed
to see this day,” he goaded the crowd, which responded with a chant of: “You
fat bastard.” “Don’t be naughty,” Lydon admonished them.
its pedalling rhythm, descending chord steps and Chuck Berry-style guitar solo
God Save the Queen was always a magnificent song, and the lyrics have held up
remarkably well. But the punk ethos — which always railed against the mindless
adulation of rock stars and preferred its heroes to come equipped with a self-destruct
mechanism — was not designed with big, open-air events in mind. With
no new material on offer, the set lacked depth and variety, and having built to
a quick climax with Holidays in the Sun, Pretty Vacant and EMI, the Pistols left
the stage after less than an hour to a muted response.
“encores” produced reliable versions of Anarchy in the UK and Problems,
but they lost their way as soon as they departed from the script during a more
ambitious rendition of the Stooges’ protopunk anthem, No Fun.
you for coming to my garden party,” Lydon said as he departed, his duty done.
No future indeed, but still a band with a past worth making a bit of noise about.
BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON, 17th July 1996
CREATION RECORDS STATEMENT
never saw the Sex Pistols in 1977. They never came to Scotland. I saw everybody
else. Everybody. The Clash three times in ’77. Buzzcocks. Ramones. Everybody.
I got a ticket on Wednesday night in a way out of embarrassment that I never stayed
around to watch them at Finsbury Park which I had heard they were like “cabaret”.
I went half expecting it to be part comedy part irrelevancy. What I saw destroyed
my preconceptions. Granted they are no longer a social phenomenon, that they had
to wait almost 20 years to play their music and to be judged on that shows you
how much of a social phenomenon they actually were.
Sex Pistols at Shepherd’s Bush Empire were simply stunning. Literally the
best rock ‘n’ roll band around. If you accept Oasis and to my mind 3
Colours Red are the most exciting rock ‘n’ roll bands in the country,
then accept this that both Noel Gallagher and Chris McCormack told me separately
that “they are better than us”. I stood with Noel as he sang every song.
Steve Jones is the man The Throb has always wanted to be. It is lazy to say they
are cabaret. They blew everybody way. I came along cynical and it was one of the
best gigs I’ve ever seen. John Lydon utterly majestic after being for so
long unfocused. Steve Jones the rock ‘n’ roll guitar player. Glen Matlock
the songwriter. They were only ever shit live in ’77 because he had left.
The band was amazing looking and sounding. Paul Cook shaved head and soul.
Sex Pistols changed my life in 1977 and in 1996. They are Gods to a man. Rock
‘n’ roll should always be this great. This was “Never Mind The
Bollocks” note for note. It’s still beautiful. If you don’t get
it now, you would have never got it then. Britpop? More like Shitpop. You’re
welcome to your mediocrity. This band are our alternative royal family. God Save
The Sex Pistols.
Alan McGee, 20th July 1996
The Shepherds Bush Concert was arranged following the cancellation of the Belfast
gig arranged for the same date. Also cancelled was the concert in Dublin, scheduled
for 18th July (see press advert - right).
FESTIVAL, 21st July 1996
I was young, barely out of my shorts and all that, my brother took me to see the
Pistols. They played four songs and then Johnny Rotten fell through the stage.
Now, 20 years later, it seems fitting that time only allows me to see the first
four songs of their set, “Bodies”, “Seventeen”, “New
York” and “I’m Lazy Sod”. It’s cabaret. Rotten (let’s
drop Lydon for the sake of the game, shall we?) playing out the role of a pink
and green whippy-haired Liza Minelli. It’s both happy and sad, powerful and
pathetic, a celebration of the naive energy of punk rock and an acknowlodgment
of how it all turned sour.
the start of the fifth track EMI, the stage shows no sign of collapse, presumably
strengthened to support Rotten’s extra weight, so I leave. Vowing not to
return if they get it together again in another 2O years.
for a long, cool bath, l think.
by MJ, Melody Maker. July 27th 1996
Save The Sex Pistols ©2007 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net.
All rights reserved.