Spotting the Pistols

A journey beyond mainstream to rebel music

Spotting the Pistols

Postby (sowhat) » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:13 pm

Hi gang,
it's no secret to anyone that the Sex Pistols were, and still are, a much discussed phenomenon in rock music. So what would you say about them, and what was their secret? Why do they still attract the listener and are still considered "the face of punk rock" by many, even though they had only one official album? Some say they couldn't even play or sing; some say they were more about image than music, and even "they were statement, not music". Some say Johnny Rotten of today, "old and fat", looks pitiful; others say he's still cool.
(well, personally, i think there was music in the noise they made, for instance:

yeah, my favourite Pistols song... end of personal note)
So what would you guys say? What was that something about them that made people crazy about them? Definitely not good looks, as it is with modern "punk" bands, or?..
As always, all kinds of opinions welcome. :twisted:
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (paologregorio) » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:39 pm

It was a combination of attitude, image, songwriting, and live performance, as well as timing. As for looks, while they weren't "pretty boys", I wouldn't consider them lacking in the looks department-more handsome than cute perhaps. :D
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (captsandwich) » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:44 pm

The Sex Pistols are the reason I play guitar (along with thousands if not millions of others my age). I still love their music. I was a little young for them during their heyday, but I was turned on to them in the early 80's. I think a lot of it was the youth & energy.
Steve, Paul & Glen could play & Johnny could sing, although in a severly limited range. He was, however, a magnetic stage presence. I saw PIL in 1988 and was stunned by how rivetting he was.
Sid was all hype & image, brought nothing to the table musically.
Much like Nirvana, they were the right band at the right moment.
I refused to go to any of the reunion shows, because I was afraid it would sully the image I had in my head.

My take on Pretty Vacant: http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=68921
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (blueflamerick) » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:34 pm

I love punk but despise the Sex Pistols. I definitely think it was all about the image and shock value with them.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (wints) » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:46 pm

They had the energy, the management, and the timing and were the catalyst for the whole movement. You have to remember before them punk was still below the radar. The Bill Grundy show changed all that and the rest is history...

They were the concept of Malcolm and he knew exactly what he had...

Musically, I still love the power of NMTB. Chris Thomas's production was way ahead of anything that contemporary punk had to offer at the time and still sounds magnificent today. Just listen to those opening chords of "God Save The Queen" and the power that follows it.

You had to be there to see they change they made, both musically and socially at the time, and if you was, you knew that everyone else was travelling second class...
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (expomick) » Sun Jan 06, 2008 12:44 am

They really bothered a whole bunch of people: my parents, most of my friends, the druggies/Zeppelin thugs at school...so naturally, I had to like them.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (peewee) » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:34 am

I recall seeing a TV program ( I think it may have been 60 Minutes ) in 1976 or 1977 that did a story on the Pistols and the UK Punk scene. They were showing some footage that was shot at one their shows and I was transfixed to the screen; it was unlike anything I'd ever seen and really made quite an impression. I wore out 3 copies of Never Mind The ... between 1978 and 1980 and it's still one of my favorite Rock & Roll records ever!

The Pistols were brash, raw, uncouth, anti-establishment and ****** off at the world. I think that most of us who were of a certain age could identify with that attitude during the 1970s.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (royclough) » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:11 pm

John Lydon turned out to be a Rebel Without A Cause, his whole values were shot to shreds in my view when he agreed to go on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (sowhat) » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:28 pm

Well, that depends on how you take it, Roy.
I mean, say, "well, i'm a rebel, right? So i am supposed never to do anything like "I'm a celebrity get me out of here", right? But i'm a rebel, right? So i'll do that!" Hmmm, does it make any sense? Maybe not. Still, what i mean to say, a rebel breaks the limits, and maybe even those that were set by the image of a rebel.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (royclough) » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:45 pm

Sheena

He did it for one reason - money
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (scotty) » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:43 pm

Whist i agree with Roys comment about a rebel with out a cause i have to say that you cannot judge a persons values throughout their lifetime.Same could be said about Bob Geldoff when he decided to sing I don't like Mondays at the Live8 concert.I suppose its all a matter of selling out in some shape or form.Same could be said for The Who every time they sing My generation.Everyone at sometime in their career are going to do it for the money i know i would and anyone that tells you different are telling fibs,Everyone has a price.The Sex pistols changed the way music and fashion was at the time and no band member singularly after the event were going to change that. The Sex Pistols as a band dropped a rock in the pond of music and the ripples are still reverberating hence this thread. Oh and i have to agree 100% with Andrew Winters comments.NMTBs is the definitive UK punk album.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (paologregorio) » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:08 pm

Lydon donated £100,000 earned from appearing on that show to theTacugama Chimp Sanctuary in Sierra Leone.

Scroll down the following page: http://www.johnlydon.com/jltv.html#celeb
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (royclough) » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:36 am

Did not know that, so Rebel with A Heart.

Scotty correct too we all mellow I suppose, the point I was trying to make, poorly I have to say, was that last person I would have expected to turn up on that TV reality show was Lydon.

Is there a US version of the show by the way.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (sowhat) » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:23 am

royclough wrote:Did not know that, so Rebel with A Heart.

Wellllllll... i hope you don't mean that in general, rebels are heartless people? :wink: Cause that would be as far from the truth as one can go.
Speaking of reasons why we do this or that... there are four major groups of reasons, as they say: fun, money, attention and family/friends/loved ones. Not necessarily in that order, and not necessarily only one of them rules the game. Some also say there's such a thing as "doing something in the name of Art", but i'm still not sure what it means.
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (paologregorio) » Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:33 am

royclough wrote:Did not know that, so Rebel with A Heart.

Scotty correct too we all mellow I suppose, the point I was trying to make, poorly I have to say, was that last person I would have expected to turn up on that TV reality show was Lydon.

Is there a US version of the show by the way.


I think there's a U.S. version, but the name escapes me. I don't watch reality TV at all.

With respect to JL being the last person one would expect to see on reality TV, it would seem so on the surface, but then remember that JL likes to stir things up by nature; he managed to show up on American Bandstandin the early 80s as well, which was the last show I would have expected to see him on, and he was stirring things up a bit with Mr. Clark. :D
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