Thursday , April 25 2024
Sex Pistols sell out...even more.

Punks Show How Unpunk They Really Are

Oh, John, you have let your fans down again.

I have debated with others at Blogcritics about the Sex Pistols. Personally I’m a Clash man, preferring a band of musical quality and integrity to the manufactured crap that was the Sex Pistols. To me, the Sex Pistols were all about marketing and getting lucky. Frankly, I wondered if they would even be remembered if Sid hadn’t offed himself.

When I wrote my list of annoying overrated bands, I made a point of including the Sex Pistols, which some disagreed with.

Earlier in the month there was much talk about a note — exact author unknown — from someone representing the Sex Pistols saying they would not play at the Rock and Roll Induction. As usual, some say it’s a punk move while others said it smelled of marketing and posturing.

Which brings us to the latest comments by John Lydon – formerly Johnny Rotten.
Johnny boy went on the radio show of Steve Jones – the Sex Pistols former guitarist and the one member who seems to be living a DIY lifestyle rather than just talking the talk. While on his show Lydon brought up the topic of spitting and throwing things at the performer.

A Dummies Guide to Spitting and Punks

One of the odder trends to come out of the punk movement was the habit of some fans to spit at singers. A disgusting habit, that. But it’s hard to get more punk than to spit gobs at a singer, right?

I just googled “Sex Pistols spit” to see what came up and the first item was this headline: “Sex Pistols spit on Hall of Fame honor.” The second Google item was about the awful movie The Filth and the Fury, and a review of it begins this way: “The 25-year hissy fit between Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols continues to rage in Julian Temple’s engaging documentary about everybody’s favorite spitting, puking punk band.”

I could go on. I did the Google search because I wanted to make sure I was not going crazy as thinking the Sex Pistols — the “original” punk band — would be pro-spitting. I mean what can be more demeaning or disgusting an act for a fan to do than to spit on a performer?

Here is what Lydon said that has my saliva gobbing up and ready to spit on him: The fans that throw things at him – let alone spit at him – are the “fans we hate the most.” This from a guy who previously would brag about how he’d act exactly that way to others. Meanwhile, the band has sold their back catalog for use in advertising and there are rumors of Sex Pistols action figures being in the works.

This seems to me an odd way to acknowledge the coming 30th anniversary of the seminal album. But maybe it’s appropriate since they always seemed more interested in selling products and making money – the reunion tour was evidence #8,988 of that – than of actually taking ideological stances.

Lydon complained on Jones’ show that the band has to fight allegations about the band. “We’re Sex Pistols; we ain’t fake,” said Lydon. Methinks he doth protest too much.

John Lydon — now a property investor with a portfolio of over $1 million — I spit in your general direction.

Oh and if you have read this far and are hoping for news of another Sex Pistols reunion I have more bad news for you: Lydon says he could not do it because of stage fright. That’s right, Mr. Performance Artist, part of such stunts as cussing on live TV and causing a spectacle during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, is scared to perform.

If you want to listen to good current punk check out Bad Religion or Anti-Flag.

About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been working in mental health for the last ten years. He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.

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