Sex Pistols: Stories, Legends, And Anarchy

By | November 5, 2019

The band's first show was chaos

Their playing may have been questionable, and they may have only recorded one real album, but there was no one more outrageous or who inspired more artists than The Sex Pistols. In just a few short years, the band formed, recorded some amazing songs, and then imploded.

From 1975 to 1978, the Sex Pistols fought whoever got in their way, both onstage and off. They went to war with their management, their record labels, and even the Queen herself. Even after the band broke up, they didn't stop thumbing their noses at authority. Punk rock, rock and roll, whatever you want to call it---The Sex Pistols were absolute legends. 

test article image
Source: AP

Different permutations of The Sex Pistols played together in its infancy, but it wasn't until Johnny Rotten was placed into the group as the band's singer that things really clicked. Their first gig was set up by bassist Glen Matlock at the art school where he was a student. There was only one problem: They didn't have any equipment. They had to borrow amps and drums from the headliner, pub rock band Bazooka Joe. That would have been fine, except the Pistols only made it through a few songs (including covers of the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" and "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone") before Bazooka Joe kicked the band offstage for damaging their equipment. Rotten and the group got into a fight with Bazooka Joe and never even made it to the portion of their set that that contained their own songs.

Sid Vicious asked Lemmy from Motorhead to teach him bass

test article image
Source: Reddit

You might have noticed that Matlock was identified as the band's bassist up there, which can't be right, because everyone knows The Sex Pistols' bassist was the iconic Sid Vicious. Don't worry, this isn't a case of the Mandela effect: Vicious didn't join the band until 1977. Matlock had the skills, writing such seminal songs as "Pretty Vacant," but Vicious had the look, and that was that. The fact that he couldn't actually play the bass was barely a problem.

Still, Vicious wanted to do his due diligence and at least attempt to learn how to play music. Most people in that situation would turn to music store bulletin boards, but Vicious went straight to the grandfather of punk himself, Lemmy Kilmister. Amazingly, Lemmy not only didn't laugh in his face, he accepted Vicious's proposition. Alas, not even Lemmy could teach Vicious, later telling a journalist that the lessons were "all uphill" and quipping that Vicious "still couldn't play bass when he died."