Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cheeky Bastards

It was the worldwide thump; the resounding kick in the ass to the music scene that heralded the rise of Punk. Minus all the complacent and bloated excess of rockstardom, with all the chewed-up fat trimmed off, and just barebones rhythm and sheer, belligerent power, the way rock n' roll's supposed to be, the Sex Pistols were the shite.

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols was not exactly the purported death knell for Rock, as we knew it; it merely jogged our senses, presented possibilities, and brought everything back to its roots, a combined sort of evolution/devolution, if there was one, or such a thing.

The Pistols, singer/sneerist and King of the staredown Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), guitarist/sometime petty thug (now celebrated LA DJ) Steve Jones, bassist (and big Beatles fan) Glen Matlock and drummer Paul Cook, not only kicked in the doors of the Rock establishment, but trashed the entire edifice in the process. Bollocks lived up to its name, not for its lack of scope nor direction, but because it was so full of itself, and of potential promise; a twisted, yet inspiring beacon of sorts for other bands to follow, in true if-they-can-do-it-so-can-we Punk ethos.

Borne from years of urban dissent, poverty and just plain boredom, the late great Punk impressario Malcolm McLaren saw it fit to put together, Frankenstein-style, a ragtag bunch that would spew the chaotic bile of piss and vinegar, with equal amounts of shock value and the necessary hype, to shove it along the way. Shunned by record labels, hated by the press, and barred from the pubs, the Sex Pistols were on their way.

Bollocks seethed with all the trappings of youth dissent ("Holiday In The Sun") and hateful disdain for the Royals ("God Save The Queen") on the eve of its anniversary, at that. It also touched on typical urban concerns like abortion ("Bodies"), poverty ("Problems") and the detachment attached (or detached) it spawns ("No Feelings").
Their fuck-all attitude never endeared them to The Man ("EMI"), nor the other way around ("Anarchy In The UK"), but the word was definitely out.. never mind you, me, the government nor anybody else, to paraphrase the geezers, ".. except for myself, my beautiful self.."

And in the wake of Pistols ex-manager McLaren's recent demise, it is only now that most realize how vital Malcolm's legacy truly stood for. He may have gone for the cash for chaos, and the cries of "no future" from his former squires, but beyond all the hype and the misconception of the majority.. the Pistols were true to their words.
Until now.

"..We mean it, maaaan!"


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