Home > Uncategorized > #27 The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols

#27 The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols

When Rhino released ‘No Thanks: 70’s Punk Rebellion’ there was a statement in the liner notes about the lack of any Sex Pistols in the compilation. Rhino had apologized for this fact and indicated that they were denied permission to include the songs but at the same time indicated that anyone who had bought the boxed set should either have this or buy it anyhow for it’s contributions to the punk movement.

Talking about punk without the sex pistols is like talking about peanut butter without jelly. They go hand in hand. This album should be a true starting point in that discussion. There will always be arguments about who started the movement, but in the UK there was a sense of pent up energy of a post World War 2 economy gone bad. Safety Pins were not a fashion statement, they were used to hold ones clothes together. The Sex Pistols were more than an image created by Malcolm McLaren. Sure, he was responsible for picking out John Lydon based on his looks, but at some point, it could have been nothing if Lydon did not have any talent.

Back to the R.E.M. comparisons, I had always felt that Michael Stipe had borrowed some of Lydon’s stage mannerisms and watching old footage of the band is fairly obvious that he is comfortable on stage.

But the music, well let’s just say that it shocked. The band released “God Save the Queen” during Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee and that started a minor flareup. Let’s just say that their music had been banned, they lost record contracts due to their shocking behavior and in the meantime started a movement.

There were issues within the band itself. Glen Matlock was sacked in favor of Sid Vicious who was more in the image of what the Sex Pistols were portraying but did not have any musical talents. Watching the video of Holidays in the Sun above it is fairly apparent that the stage presence of Vicious is notable but his playing abilities is pretty awful.

The Sex Pistols only lasted one album and by 78 the band played their last gig in San Francisco where Lydon had just about enough. It was no fun.

Their lasting legacy was writing music that mattered; that was more than just an image but a statement about current society at the time. It created a rebellious nature that is necessary because music is a critique of our current times. Writing about dragonflies and honeydew will only get you so far with a 17 year old that is not content in their current situation. Behind Lydon’s public persona there was an intelligent human with a heart, especially for his friend Vicious who lost his life to his heroin addiction. At the end it was no fun, but for a time it was all the rage.

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