The Story NEVER
MIND THE FACTS - HERE'S THE SEX PISTOLS BIOGRAPHY
Jones and Paul Cook first decided to form a band in 1972 they
have predicted the effect they were to have on so many on a
world wide scale.
Little did they know then that the group which eventually
became known as
the Sex Pistols would split after mass notoriety, and then
regroup in 1996 - the first of many reformations.
Originally the band came about when Steve and Paul, along with schoolmate
Warwick Nightingale formed The Strand. Jimmy Mackin and Steve Hayes augmented
the original line-up while instruments and equipment were provided or, more
practically, stolen by Jones.
Jones regularly spent his weekends
at the"Let It Rock" shop in the Kings Road
which was run by Malcom
McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Jones badgered McLaren
into finding the group
somewhere to rehearse. The location Mclaren found was
Covet Garden Community
Centre, and his Saturday lad Glen Matlock joined the
band as bass player.
A major priority, as McLaren saw it, was to find a vocalist. Cook and Jones
had each tried their hand but the desire for new blood led to the departure
of Nightingale. McLaren was becoming acquainted with a regular visitor to
shop which was now known as "Sex", the green-haired teenager
Lydon auditioned for the band by accompanying Alice Cooper on
jukebox. As a result of Jones' continual comments about the state
teeth he became Johnny Rotten, McLaren meanwhile borrowed a slogan
off one of
his T-shirts and dubbed the band "Sex Pistols". Initially
they worked mostly
on 60's covers with the likes of the Small Faces. They
also began to write
their own material.
Their first venture was
as support to Bazooka Joe (complete with Adam Ant) in
November 1975 at St.
Martins College in London's Charing Cross Road. It was
hardly a success however,
with the plug promptly pulled after a short set. A
memorable debut but for
the wrong reasons ! Other dates were forthcoming
though and the band slowly
gained a following, sparked by Simon Barker who
formed the "Bromley
Contingent", an ardent group of Pistols followers.
Violence at Dingwalls
brought an expulsion from that venue. and because of
their growing reputation
they were barred from playing the Mont De Marson
Punk Festival in France.
Following the U.K. tour, which included a performance at Chelmsford Prison,
they played at the 100 club in September 1976 at a Punk Festival, which also
featured a line-up of Siouxsie & The Banshees with future Pistols bassist
Vicious (real name John Simon Ritchie) on drums. On October 8th the Pistols
signed to EMI, recording their debut single "Anarchy In The UK" shortly
afterwards. An event then occurred that anyone who hadn't previously
the band would now be well aware of them. On December 1st the band
on Thames TV's "Today" program as late replacements, only
five minutes before going on air. They were interviewed live
by Bill Grundy,
who proceeded to provoke the band and encourage them to "say
outrageous". For Steve Jones in particular this was an open
invitation and he
happily obliged with a number of expletives stunning (to
put it mildly) the
early evening audience. The next day the front pages of
the daily newspaper
were covered with pictures of the band, prompting EMI
to drop them. Anxious
promoters canceled all but three of the shows booked
for December's "Anarchy"
national tour and in February 1977 Glen
Matlock left the group. His
replacement was the before mentioned Sid Vicious
who first had to learn how
to play bass!
In March 1977 the Pistols
signed a new recording deal with A&M Records. As
their first single was
to be "God Save The Queen" they signed the contracts
Palace and were photographed doing so. Just days later
however A&M kicked
the band off the label as well, prompting plenty of
McLaren hype about the
large pay-offs they were receiving, a point he made
sure was driven in "The
Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle" film some time later.
In May the Pistols
signed their third and final record deal, this time with
Virgin, and "God
Save The Queen" was promptly released. Jamie Reid's sleeve
the Queen's face with a safety pin through her nose in true
and it came as no surprise when the single was widely banned.
marked Jubilee Day in their own inimitable fashion by staging a
on a riverboat on the Thames and were arrested and charged by the
on their return ashore.
Two more singles followed, "Pretty Vacant"
(video shown on "Top of the Pops") and "Holidays In The Sun",
preceding the group's eagerly anticipated album "Never Mind The Bollocks
- Here's The Sex Pistols" in November which went straight to the top
of the charts despite many outlets refusing to stock it.
After a secret tour
to avoid bans the Sex Pistols' final UK performance took place at Ivanhoes
in Huddersfield on Christmas Day 1977 before they took off for the ill-fated
eight show American tour in January 1978. Enough was enough for Rotten by
the end and on the final date at the Winterland Ballroom in San
he snarled "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?", a now infamous
remark which sparked his departure from the band the next day.Days later,
Cook and Jones travelled to Rio with McLaren to meet and record with Ronnie
Biggs, the Great Train Robber. Rotten would go on to form Public Image Limited.
Sid Vicious recorded a version of "My Way" and performed his farewell
UK gig at Camden's Electric Ballroom under the guise of The Vicious White
ex-Pistol Glen Matlock on bass. In October 1978 Sid's girlfriend
Nancy Spungen was found dead in the couple's New York hotel room, and Sid
was jailed for the murder. He was released on bail but died from a heroin
overdose on February 2nd 1979 whilst awaiting the murder trial.
Pistols were over.
By Jim Henderson
1996, 20 years after anarchy first ruled the nation, Rotten, Jones, Cook
and Matlock reformed for the highly successful Filthy Lucre Tour. The
tour would take the Sex Pistols around the globe, ending in Santiago, Chile,
on 7th December '96.
in 2002....Pistols At The Palace. On 27th July, Steve, Paul, John, and Glen
reunited to celebrate their own Jubilee with a concert at Crystal Palace,
London. This was followed by, on
14th September, Inland Invasion 2: Blockbuster Pavilion, Devore, California.
Sex Pistols regrouped in 2003 for a Summer tour of North America, titled the
Piss Off Tour , playing a total of 11 shows.
In June 2007 John, Steve, and Paul re-recorded Anarchy In The UK and Pretty Vacant for the video game Guitar Hero 3. Then in November the 30th anniversary of Never Mind The Bollocks was marked by five shows at Brixton Academy, plus gigs in Manchester and Glasgow, known as the Holidays In The Sun 2007 Tour. The 'Bollocks' album iteslf, along with the band's first four singles were also re-released to mark the occasion.
This was followed in 2008 by the Combine Harvester Tour which, after a show in Las Vegas, took in the majority of Europe (plus Japan and Russia) during the summer, playing primarily festivals, including headlining the Isle Of Wight Festival in June. September saw an emotional concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, which apart from a final festival show in the Basque Country, brought the tour to a close.
Save The Sex Pistols ©2002 - 2009 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net.
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