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Sid Vicious - part of God Save The Sex Pistols SID & NANCY - 30 YEARS ON

Interview with Alex Cox by Dermot Campbell

Dermot: Does the film company have to get your approval to re-release the film? Were you surprised that they wanted to re-release it again?

Alex: It depends on the film. I believe that the U.K. Rights to Sid And Nancy which used to belong to Central T.V.'s film and production company Zenith went to Granada. Who then sold them on to the French company Canal. This is guesswork on my part, financiers don't keep film makers in the loop.

Julien Temple worked a great deal with the Sex Pistols. Did you have any contact with him during the making of the film?

I spoke to him on the phone about 'My Way' whose film incarnation he directed for 'The Great Rock & Roll Swindle'. He is the author of 2 films about the Sex Pistols which are essential viewing for anyone interested in that band.

You interviewed John Lydon, the Bromley contingent and Joe Strummer for the film. Were any other members of the Sex Pistols interviewed or consulted for the film?

Glen Matlock, the original bass player, was our musical consultant. He arranged the recreations of the Pistols music. And with suitable irony he re-created Sid's bass lines for our versions. I didn't interview Strummer, he became involved only after the picture was shot and we were editing. Malcolm McLaren also gave me a very nice interview.

What prompted you to put Sid in a hammer and sickle t-shirt and dog collar?

Because I much prefer the hammer and sickle t-shirt to the swastika, of which I am not fond.

Had Courtney Love been considered as Nancy?

As to my knowledge she had no acting experience? No she was not.

The girl Phoebe, who appears to be a helper for Malcolm, was she based on a real character?

Malcolm had an assistant, whom I interviewed and was most helpful. What was her name? It is in my old notebooks, sitting in a vault at the National Media Museum in Bradford, for punk historians to pore over.

Would you consider ever visiting the Sex Pistols story again, or punk in general? As 40 years on there is still an insataible interest in punk and the Sex Pistols.

No I was primarily interested in the Sid and Nancy story, and Sid's role as the betrayer of punk. I don't have any more to say than what's in the film.

When the film was released, did you feel you might come in for criticism, saying parts were fantasy (like the taxi ride at the end)? Was the fire in the hotel room based on fact?

The fire was based on fact. The taxi ride was sentimental bullshit.

Dermot writes a Sex Pistols fanzine, 'We're Into Chaos' and can be contacted at

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God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton / 2016
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God Save the Sex Pistols

God Save The Sex Pistols ©Phil Singleton /