Music History

Published on January 14th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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40 Years Ago, The Sex Pistols Blew Up. Then Johnny Lydon Clawed His Way Back.

On January 14, 1978, the Sex Pistols played their final gig (well, until the 90s reunion) at the Winterland in San Francisco. It was a fitting end to one of the worst tours in the history of rock.

The show ended like this.

The Telegraph has this story about the Sex Pistols destruction and Johnny Lydon’s resurrection.

When Johnny Rotten walked out on the Sex Pistols after a disastrous American tour forty years ago today, punk rock was officially over. In just 26 months together as a band, Rotten’s crew had revolutionized the landscape of popular music, bringing urgency, controversy and anti-establishment fury to a mid-Seventies rock scene which had become tepid and pretentious.

Four decades later, their ferocious broadsides, Anarchy in the UK and God Save the Queen, still rank as the most iconoclastic in pop history, but, back then, after all the outrage they’d generated around Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in the summer of 1977, the Pistols were falling apart.

Sid Vicious – an old college friend of Rotten’s, whom the singer had drafted in on bass as moral support in his increasingly fractious dealings with the other half of the band – had overnight turned into an attention-seeking junkie, only further…

Keep reading.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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