conducted by Judy Vermorel in 1977 for the biography The Sex Pistols,
originally published in 1978 by Universal Books, and subsequently reprinted as
Sex Pistols-The Inside Story by Star Books (1981), & revised again
in 1987 by Omnibus Press.
Vicious: (With Nancy present) OK, what did you want to ask?
I was going to ask you about the Jack Lewis (Daily Mail) article and how that
came about and what you felt about the result of it.
Well, that came about because just previous to that thered been same incident
at the Speakeasy where somebody had got injured. John Rotten and I were suspected.
Course we had nothing to do with it whatsoever. He picked me out to interview
because my name was Vicious and it was obvious he was trying to find out from
the questions he asked - like he asked me if I was violent and things like that
- and If I did this and that, all very subtle, designed for a person of low intelligence,
obviously such as myself. I would be totally fooled by this and he would get it
all out of me and I would say, Yes, Im big, tough and vicious and
I beat up all these people and split peoples heads open. And this
was what he came along to do.
he was so sure he was going to get that. So I told him exactly the opposite of
what he wanted to hear. I told him what a nice intellectual boy I was and wouldnt
dream of doing anything like that and I had pet hamsters and things like that,
you know what I mean? Made myself seem like butter wouldnt melt in my mouth.
And he fucking fell for it as well.
just so thick they wouldnt know a string quartet from a string vest. Theyre
just totally dumb. They dont know a fucking thing. They just make me sick.
They make me physically ill because theyre not in touch with whats
going on. Theyve got no idea of whats happening. And they cant,
you know, they cant handle it. Thats why, you know, when people read
how I love my mummy and shes pleased that Ive at last found something
thats near to my heart... you know what I mean? Like as far as Im
concerned, anybody with any suss looks at the picture of me standing there and
looks at what I said and says the two dont go together.
course he lacks the intelligence, like most grown-ups, to do anything at all.
As soon as somebody stops being a kid, they stop being aware. And it doesnt
matter how old you are. You can be 99 and still be a kid. As long as youre
a kid youre aware and you know whats happening. But as soon as you
Ive got absolutely no interest in pleasing the
general public at all. I dont want to because I think that largely theyre
scum and they make me physically sick, the general public. They are scum. And
I hope you print that. Because that is my opinion of like 99 per cent of the shit
you find in the street who dont know a fucking thing.
But is it actually the people who annoy you?
Yes it is. Its the people and their God-awful attitudes. What I want to
do is put something else out that I like, and, like, whoever else likes it will
find it - do you know what I mean? And, like, if nobody else in the whole world
likes it, I couldnt give two shits. If it doesnt sell one copy, who
gives a fuck?
point is that its what we want to do. We have fun making it. We have fun
listening to it. I listen to our records a lot because I like them. I think theyre
good records, otherwise I wouldnt have had any part in them. I like our
music to listen to as much as I like the Ramones to listen to. The Ramones are
my favourite group, by the way.
What do you feel about television?
I hate it and everything to do with it. Its the worst - its depressing,
television, it frightens me. The way they kiss arse, you know what I mean? The
way they say: And now the wonderful this, that and the other. They dont
mean one word you know what I mean? So why do it? I hate insincerity. If you do
something you should only do it because you like it and you want to do it. Cos
anything you gain is just a load of hogwash anyway.
do you do with money, for instance? I can think of one thing to do with money.
(He and Nancy laugh.) One thing. Thats what I do with all my money. Every
halfpenny of it.
You were at technical college with John. Werent you? Did you get on all
right there or not?
What do you mean, work-wise?
Any-wise. Well work-wise and with
I got on really well with John, I got on there really well with the black kids
- they were great, the spades at that college. They were really cool, you know
what I mean? And they used to have those reggae discos with massive sound systems
and they were really good. But everything else was shit.
hated work. I never did anything at all. I didnt do a single thing. I used
to be always making excuses. And I couldnt do any of the work anyway, not
because I was unintelligent or anything, but simply because I wasnt interested
in it. Im incapable of doing something I dont want to do. I just cant
do it. I cant force myself to do things. I either want to do it or I dont.
Before you went there, did you anticipate that it would be good?
No, I knew it would be shit. But I couldnt think of anything else to do
and I was not of an age when I could just hustle, you know what I mean?
How old were you when you left school?
And what school were you at?
Thats a comprehensive isnt it?
Do you read a lot?
No, I never read. I read comics mostly. Cos I hate books. Find them tedious.
I only like entertaining books. I like horror books.
Dont you think that books have anything to offer that other things havent?
No, I think nothing has anything to offer. Specially television and books.
Theres a much bigger range of books, though, than there is of television
Well I find that if I want to know something, I know about it anyway or I find
out about it. And the things I dont want to know about just, you know
cant say I like books, but if its necessary for me to read a book
to find out something I want to find out, I will read the book happily. But as
such I cant generalise about that. I cant generalise over anything.
I dont like anything particularly.
and compiled by Phil Singleton.
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