Sex Pistols: I Wanna Be Me

Dave Simpson

1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols LP was an atomic bomb dropped on rock music and culture. To commemorate the explosion, Simpson’s short, photo-packed, book examines this seismic blast.

Even today, it’s incredible how a band could create one revolutionary album – yet flame-out so quickly. Clearly, the Sex Pistols weren’t destined to last; they formed while bleak economic and social problems battered Great Britain in the mid ’70s. Vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, and drummer Paul Cook were working-class misfits. Bassist Glen Matlock, more of a middle-class lad, didn’t quite fit in and clashed with Rotten. He left and was replaced by the talent-deficient, disaster-in-waiting Sid Vicious.

Here, their titanic debut is chronicled in detail. Jones played most bass parts by copying his guitar parts on bass, but an octave lower. Still, Matlock and even Vicious did play on a few tracks (fun fact – Motörhead’s Lemmy once tried teaching Vicious how to play bass).
Because the Sex Pistols’ career was so brief, the author covers how the band ignited the British punk scene and influenced so many future artists. The book is a solid snapshot of the iconoclastic quartet and an equally explosive era of rock and roll.

This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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