Unbeknownst to the band, the show was being broadcast live throughout London. Not that it would have stopped them anyway. Grundy was one of the first people to learn not to mess with the Sex Pistols. The following day the Sex Pistols were headline news up and down the country. ‘Punk Rock,’ as it had been christened, had reached the masses. By early January 1977, EMI had buckled to internal pressure and sacked the Pistols. Honoring their 40,000 pounds contract in full!

Steve and Paul had been friends for years, and John saw his chance to even up the score by bringing in his old friend John Simon Ritchie / Beverley, aka Sid Vicious. Despite being practically unable to play bass, Sid was one of the earliest Pistols fans; he loved the band, and couldn’t wait to join. A&M became the Pistols’ new record label, and their next single was to be ‘God Save the Queen,’ John’s alternative National Anthem. To announce the A&M deal, the band staged a mock signing outside Buckingham Palace. However, after an out-of-control drunken celebration at the A&M offices, and probably fear of backlash, the band soon found themselves without a record deal yet again. Only ten days after they signed to A&M, the Sex Pistols were sacked, yet again, finding them 75,000 pounds richer in the process!

The next record company headhunt ended with them reluctantly signing to Richard Branson’s Virgin Records in May 1977. Just in time for the Queen’s 25th Silver Jubilee. The nation was gripped by Royal fever. The Queen was a national treasure. Everyone seemed to love her, everyone except the Sex Pistols. The release of ‘God Save the Queen’ sent shockwaves up and down the country! This was Britain 1977. No one had ever spoken up so publicly about the royals since the anarchists and communist uprisings. The nation was up in arms. Some members of Parliament even called for the band to be hung at London’s Traitors’ Gate!

October 28th, 1977, saw the release of the Sex Pistols’ one and only true album Never Mind The Bollocks, Pre-release orders were so high it immediately charted at Number 1. A U.S. tour was arranged for January 1978. Initially the band was refused entry to the states due to a string of arrest records. They played their last gig of the tour at San Francisco’s, Winterland Ballroom on January 14, 1978. The band was on its last legs. John was hit with flu, Sid was messed up on drugs, and Cook and Jones had finally had it with Sid and Johnny. John Lydon eventually walked out on the others the following day, after trying in vain to get Jones to dump McLaren, and the Sex Pistols as we knew them were no more.

Post-Winterland, Rotten washed his hands of the Sex Pistols and moved on. Jones, Cook and Vicious kept the Sex Pistols name, releasing a series of singles between 1978-80 for use in McLaren’s new ‘movie’ version of the Pistols story, The Great Rock n Roll Swindle.

The band later released the acclaimed 2000 Sex Pistols documentary The Filth and the Fury. Johnny Lydon re-emerged with the stunning band Public Image Limited. 20 years after their inception, all surviving members of The Sex Pistols shocked the world with the launch of a world tour in 1994. Their concerts sold out around the world.

© 2009,The Hollywood Sentinel, with courtesy of Subnormal Magazine and EMI