The band that would become the Sex Pistols originally started in 1972 by Steve Jones and Paul Cook. Glen Matlock later joined them in 1974. In1975, Steve Jones spotted someone who looked “a bit different” in Malcolm McLaren’s clothes shop. The shop was called Sex. Bernie Rhodes, one of McLaren’s associates, spotted the same guy on London’s Kings Road, complete with hacked green hair and a homemade “I hate Pink Floyd” T-shirt. Sacrilege at the time!

Malcolm McLaren, who had become the band’s manager, persuaded the reluctant and cynical John Lydon to audition in his shop called ‘Let it Rock,’ and later re-named ‘Sex.’ Fashion designer Malcom claims to have dressed, named, and made the band.

In early 1976, the Sex Pistols began to play live regularly, playing anywhere that would take them. This was a time where the wrong haircut or clothes could get one into serious trouble. With their unique look and sound, the Sex Pistols were such a shock to the aesthetics that they would often find themselves in physical danger. They would regularly have to fight their way to their van after having the plug pulled on them! However, they soon started to attract a following of like-minded souls nicknamed the Bromley Contingent, who would include the likes of Susan Dallion (aka Siouxsie Sioux) and William Broad (aka Billy Idol). Everywhere the Sex Pistols would play, the majority of the audience just didn’t ‘get it’. They thought the band couldn’t play, Johnny couldn’t sing and they looked awful. But there was a small percentage of the crowd they got through to. The Sex Pistols affected everyone they saw, whether it be a positive or negative reaction. They always got a reaction.

It wasn’t long before they came to the attention of record companies; the ever-ambitious Sex Pistols together with Malcolm McLaren’s entrepreneurial skills had no intention of signing to a small label. They wanted the biggest and best. EMI eventually won the war. The band signed for 40,000 pounds on October 8th 1976. A recent composition penned by Rotten was set to be their debut single, ‘Anarchy in the UK’! Like his stage presence, Rotten wasn’t scared of saying, or doing anything. He was more than happy to sow seeds of discontent. ‘Anarchy in the UK’ was eventually released November 26, 1976, much to the bewilderment of the mainstream music press.

December 1, 1976 changed the Sex Pistols and the music scene forever. After the group Queen had to cancel at short notice, EMI booked the Pistols to appear on the ‘Today’ show, hosted by one Bill Grundy. A notorious drunk, Grundy had no time for these young upstarts. Treating the Pistols and their entourage with nothing short of thinly veiled contempt, he proceeded to goad them into swearing. Steve Jones called his bluff and launched into a stream of F-words.

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© 2009, The Hollywood Sentinel.