Published on May 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross1
The Sex Pistol Who Grew Up
That’s the headline in this story about Glen Matlock, the Pistols bass player who was fired for liking the Beatles. His replacement, of course, was Sid Vicious–and we all know how that turned out.
When the Pistols reformed in 1996, all was forgiven and Glen was back in the fold. Now with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coming up, there’s a Facebook campaign aimed at pushing “God Save the Queen” to #1, redressing the situation during 1977’s Silver Jubilee when chart manipulation kept the the song from rising any higher than #2.
That’s fine, but don’t blame Glen for being behind this campaign. A story in today’s Sunday Telegraph sets the story straight.
The quickest way to wind up an old punk is to accuse him of selling out. “I’m not a sell-out,” growls Glen Matlock, founder member of the stroppiest and most influential punk band of them all, the Sex Pistols. “I’ve stuck to my guns, all my life.”
That’s not how it looked last week when the news broke that Matlock was backing a Facebook campaign to get God Save the Queen to number one in the charts in time for the Diamond Jubilee weekend. The snarling, anti-royal anthem only reached number two after it was banned by the BBC in the summer of 1977 for being offensive, with its opening lines, “God save the Queen, the fascist regime… God save the Queen, she ain’t no human being.”
Not quite the thing for street parties, but not likely to bring down the monarchy either. Matlock was quoted as joking: “My bank manager invented that campaign.” So is this just one last cynical attempt to cash in on his youthful rebellion? I track him down to his garden flat near Regents Park to find out, and the answer is surprising. “I’m not backing it at all.”