was a Teenage Sex Pistol"|| |
Matlock & Pete Silverton
Paul, Glen, Steve, Johnny)
Was A Teenage Sex Pistol
Reynolds and Hearn £12.99
are only three books that are truly essential to grasp the essence of the Sex
Pistols: John Lydon's No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs; Jon Savage's England's
Dreaming; and I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol. There are other commendable
books that add to the story both factually and pictorially, but these three are
the ones you need.
its original release in 1990, I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol gave the public a chance
to hear the story, not just from a member of the band, but also from a man who
had, up until then, been largely maligned by his former band mates and the press.
Glen had for many years had his contribution downplayed and in some cases, downright
defiled, yet despite this we all knew, deep down, that Glen was vital to the success
and cohesion of the band. Without him, there was no cohesion. He had been
given the shit end of the stick and now was the time to grab the clean end.
conversational style lends itself to an upbeat good-humoured tone. This surprised
me when I first read the book; I'd anticipated more bitterness. Yes, he does put
across his side of events and the personality clashes, his feelings about John
and his own departure from the Sex Pistols are crystal clear, yet the difficulties
are not the driving force here, mere pit stops.
journey, which took Glen from schoolboy musical influences into the subversive
world of McLaren, and eventually into one of the most influential bands in the
world, is remarkable in many ways, yet Glen adapted to all the developments, and
began to thrive in the ever-evolving environment. It was only when difficulties
continued with John did Glen decide compromise was no longer on the agenda.
book paints a stark and oddly nostalgic picture of London and the UK in the early
70s, a bleak backdrop providing a contrast to the excitement and energy of McLaren's
shop. The Sex Pistols were not an overnight success who blew in from nowhere.
Glen describes in detail the gradual progression, and divulges a mine of information;
Wally Nightingale, Steve's thievery, the search for a singer, the exploding punk
scene... all bases are covered. Any doubt as to Glen's song writing input is also
laid to rest with detailed recollection of the band's compositions.
updated 2006 edition leaves the original text intact, and adds fascinating and
detailed information on the Filthy Lucre Tour. The tale of Glen contacting Steve
in the USA in' 95 and the pair then visiting John in his Venice Beach home is
hilarious. They then call Paul
volume of new material and fresh anecdotes, unheard anywhere before, gives the
book a new lease of life, making it a must-have. The triumphs and misgivings of
the reunions (Crystal Palace 2002 falls into both camps) are given a balanced
airing. There are still, and I imagine will always be, differing opinions within
the band, and Glen does not shy away from these. And yes, the Hall Of Fame is
not dodged either. It's his book and he gives his opinion.
bottom line? Simple. If you're reading this review you're visiting God Save The
Sex Pistols. If you're visiting this site you are interested in the Sex Pistols.
If you are interested in the Sex Pistols, you need the 2006 edition of I Was A
Teenage Sex Pistol.
by Phil Singleton (October 2006)
was the Pistol who could carry a tune, the man who would admit to liking The Beatles
and who contributed to the bands greatest musical moments. He was also good looking,
which was a problem with Johnny. In this, his autobiography, Matlock lays to rest
all the hype, tripe and gripes about what really happened all those years ago.
The Sex Pistols
were one of history's happy accidents. Matlock's tale is told with wit, relish
and a canny accuracy. When the time comes for a punk revival this book will serve
as an essential piece of reference.
in the early and mid-70's is perfectly and warmly recalled, the street style,
the politics, the school dinners and the last wave of non-cynical enthusiasm which
so roundly stunned the music industry.
little hint of any bitterness in the writing or telling of the tale, and it's
really a shame that the world is not yet ready for what Matlock has to say. Given
a little more distance from the events of 1976, critics, musicians and public
alike will all pay lip service to "I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol".
Mal Peachey 1991 Vox magazine. Paperback reissue of book