<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> God Save The Sex Pistols - The Story. Never Mind The Facts, Here's The Biography
Search God Save The Sex Pistols with freefind

When Steve Jones and Paul Cook first decided to form a band in 1972 they could hardly 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 his shop which was now known as "Sex", the green-haired teenager John Lydon. Lydon auditioned for the band by accompanying Alice Cooper on the shop's jukebox. As a result of Jones' continual comments about the state of Lydon's 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.
original lineup
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 Sid 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 heard of the band would now be well aware of them. On December 1st the band appeared on Thames TV's "Today" program as late replacements, only arriving around five minutes before going on air. They were interviewed live by Bill Grundy, who proceeded to provoke the band and encourage them to "say something 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 outside Buckingham 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 design depicted the Queen's face with a safety pin through her nose in true punk tradition and it came as no surprise when the single was widely banned. The Pistols marked Jubilee Day in their own inimitable fashion by staging a performance on a riverboat on the Thames and were arrested and charged by the police 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 Francisco 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 Kids, with
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.

The Sex Pistols were over.

Biography By Jim Henderson

In 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.

Then 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.

The 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.

God Save The Sex Pistols ©2002 - 2009 Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net. All rights reserved.

God Save the Sex Pistols


God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton / www.sex-pistols.net