Spotting the Pistols

A journey beyond mainstream to rebel music

Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (atomic_punk) » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:12 pm

Isn't it Punk to mess with the system and F*@! with the head of "the MAN?" :)
(And it would be MORE punk to not have to say F*@!, but I'm trying to be cool here...)
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Re: Spotting the Pistols

Postby (whojamfan) » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:52 pm

Punk was the attempt to take rock and roll back to the simple 3 chord songs of the 60s.
Malcolm McClaren,after failing with the "New York Dolls" and getting kicked out of a pub trying to recruit "CockSparrer" as the figurehead for a much more extreme version of what was going on in New York, decided to exploit some kids who were hanging out at his sex shop clothing store. He turned punk in to this big anti everything gonna kill your grandma scare through press releases and manipulating these kids to do his bidding.

In the process, one of the best punk records ever was made, "Never mind the ..., here is the Sex Pistols." For years it's been debated who actually played on the record, wrote the lyrics, and if the band could actually play. It's finally been proven that Steve Jones did indeed do all of the guitar work, and a good portion of the Bass playing, as at this time their original bass player,Glen Matlock(Rickenbacker 4001),had been sacked to bring in Sid Vicious. It is debateable whether Sid could actually play, but has been noted that at what few shows they actually did with Sid in England(as they were banned from everywhere at this point) he usually was unplugged and jumped around pretending to be a rock star.

Unfortunately, Malcolm encouraged his drug usage which led to him becoming a heroin addict and dying far before his time. Of, course, his drug use was exploited to gain them notariaty in the press, and to line Malcoms pockets. It should be noted that his girfriend,Nancy, was a longtime New York Dolls groupie and the heroin addict who got him hooked, as well as a drama queen. No accident,IMHO,that they met,and he was later arrested for her murder(never proven) in New York not long after the Pistols broke up, where he was just a singer with a backing band, trying to make a junkie living on his Pistols name and credentials. Really a classic case of a young man exploited to extremes so the management could cash in.

So, you ask, what's up with the history lesson? I'll explain that by saying I love this record, the fidelity and tones are killer, and the playing is great. The vocals are so obnoxious, yet natural, I can't think of a single singer who didn't sound like he was trying to be this way, where for John, it was the only way.The backup vocals were always strong and used to great effect, creating many a sing along moment.The studio engineers were amazed by Steve Joneses usage of multiple overdubs in unconventional ways to get that "wall of Les Paul " sound he gets. To this day, it is a fine example to show beginners what pick grinds, switching pickups on and off, and feedback can do for a song. His leads are also a fine example of simple,yet melodic,Chuck Berry on speed style licks. I still think the lead from EMI is one of my alltime favorites and is proof you can be both simple and affective. It still stands up as a valid record, and the lyrics to all of the songs are both colorfull and witty to a certain degree. I also think there recent refusal to be entered in to the "Rock and Roll hall of Fame" really speaks volumes that they still believe the industry is a joke.

Yes, they got back together as a band with their original bassplayer, to give their fans a chance to see that they actually a real band, and the one you hear on the album. They also say ,in the greatest of sarcasm, it was just to make money. If that was the case, their induction in the Rock and Roll hall of fame, coupled with a new album, could have made them lots of money, and kept them on the road for years. John Lydon is such an incredibly rude, but usually right on the money figure, he makes Simon Cowell look like Mary Poppins, so TV is a funny medium to see him on,IMHO

I just want to dispell the myth that these guys were like the punk Monkees, didn't write or play, and just a product of an amazing marketing campaign that still keeps their merchandise selling. They were actually a band of kids, given a singer, and exploited by a manager who wanted nothing more than to cash in on punk as much as he could, and inject as much shock value and nihilism in it as was profitable. He claims he invented punk, but the Ramones already had 3 albums out by the time the Pistols had their first record out, and had already played England, inspiring damn near everyone in the audience to start their own band. Oddly enough, Malcolms interpretation of punk lead to the inability of any other punk band to achieve much success, as no one wanted to touch it, and FM radio in the states hated it more than disco, if you can believe that. This is how the label "New Wave " was formed, and why many of the original bands either died, or distanced themselves as far away from "punk" as possible.

Steve Jones, Johnny Ramone, and Pete Towshend were my 3 biggest reasons for me wanting to play the guitar. Then comes early Paul Weller, Steve Marriott, and Roy Wood(the Move). Many others soon followed, and later my tastes broadened, and I thankfully still hear stuff(usually older)that rocks my world. It's funny how stuff I would have never listened to as a kid, I really like now when I hear it, and as a musician, realize just how similar all of this stuff we listen to is to each other.
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