Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ten things you didn’t know about the Sex Pistols

There have been a lot of things written about the Sex Pistols and some of it is even true. Whether they invented punk rock or just copied it from the likes of Richard Hell in the US, there can be no doubt that it was the Pistols who changed the musical landscape in the late 1970’s. When you remember that acts like the Brotherhood of Man and Rolf Harris dominated the UK pop charts at the time, you can understand why the Pistols had such an impact. Though I never got to see the Pistols, in their original incarnation, I was one of those spiky haired punks rebelling against everything and I still love the Pistols music today. In honour of the guys who pissed off everyone over the age of twenty, in the seventies; never mind what you did know, here’s ten things about the Sex Pistols you probably didn't


1. Johnny Rotten DID like Pink Floyd
John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten, was well known for his hatred of pretty much everything that came before the Sex Pistols, and was often seen wearing an ‘I hate Pink Floyd’ tee- shirt. John has since, himself, admitted to liking other types of music and, allegedly, told Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour that he was a Pink Floyd fan.

2. The Sex Pistols did appear on Top of the Pops
The Sex Pistols actually appeared on Top of the Pops twice. The first time they appeared as in 1977 with Pretty Vacant and then they appeared again in 1996 to promote their reunion tour. 

3. Gary Oldman wore Sid’s actual chain in the movie Sid and Nancy
While most Pistols fans can’t stand the movie ’Sid and Nancy’ and, frankly, it is pretty atrocious, it is however interesting that Gary Oldman, who played the part of Sid Vicious in the movie, wore the padlock and chain that belonged to Sid, when he was alive. It was given to him by Sid’s mother.

4. The riff from ‘Holidays in the Sun’ was ripped off from a Jam number
When you listen to ‘Holidays in the Sun’, you can’t but help to notice the similarity between the opening riff of the Pistols track, and that of the Jam track, ‘In the City’. Apparently, Paul Weller had a bit of a run with Sid Vicious over the Pistols nicking the riff, but later said he didn’t mind at all, saying “you've got to get your ideas from somewhere, haven't you?”  .

5. Sid didn’t play bass on ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’
Any self-respecting Pistols fan will know that Sid couldn't play the bass, though some say that he did teach himself how to play. What is known, though, is that Sid didn't play bass on the ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ album. Glen Matlock was brought back into play on some of the tracks and Steve Jones played with the other ones.

6. ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ didn't chart well in the US
‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ was the only ‘real’ Sex Pistols album. What came after was just Malcolm McLaren, squeezing the last few bucks out of the band. The album is considered by many to be one of the most influential ever made, but, it only ever made it to the #106 spot in the US charts.

7. Was Glen Matlock sacked, or did he quit?
Like many things about the Pistols, whether Glen Matlock quit the band or was sacked, depends on who you listen to. Most people believed that he was sacked because of his obsession with the Beatles, but Glen says he quit because of all the bullshit in the band. Whatever the truth, it was Glen Mattock that provided the musical background to the Pistols tracks. If you listen hard to any Pistols track, you will find that they are actually quite catchy and tuneful!

8. Sid Vicious invented moshing
Yep, you can blame Sid Viscous for moshing. Well, actually, he invented the pogo, or the punk rocker habit of jumping up and down, manically at a gig. Why? Because he couldn’t see the Sex Pistols over the crowd, when he was still but a mere fan! The pogo then developed later into the wonderful art of moshing.

9. How Jah Wobble got his name
Jah Wobble, now known as a poet and a composer (according to Wikipedia), but better known to us punks as the original bassists of Public Image Limited (PIL) was given his stage name by Sid Vicious.  His real name is John Wardle, but Sid, pissed as a fart, called him Jah Wobble and the name stuck!

10. Did John Lydon sell out?
Some say that John Lydon’s butter adverts and his appearance on ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’ was him selling out. I say, no way! That is exactly what the Pistols were about. It was fun and it was irreverent and, if you don’t see that, you missed the point entirely! Keep on taking the piss John!’

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