Got Live If You Want It: The Sex Pistols

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Well, I’ve got nothing today.  Which makes this kind of the perfect concert to post.  The Sex Pistols were angry.  They were young people in an England that was deep in economic trouble, just entering the Thatcher Era.  Between a government and economy that couldn’t function well enough to take care of its citizens, and the corporatization and commercialization of pretty much everything, they couldn’t see the point of playing by the rules anymore.  As far as they could tell, it didn’t get you anywhere.  So when Malcolm McLaren conceived them as a sort of performance art piece, they channeled that anger into music.  The result was the definitive punk band.

This was their final performance in 1978.  It’s not very good, frankly.  Punk really didn’t translate well to some venues.  And the Sex Pistols had already fractured by this point.  Sid Vicious would be dead not very long after, and the rest of the band would spend years fighting each other and McLaren.  They reunited with original bassist Glen Matlock and toured in 1996 on the Filthy Lucre tour (Johnny Rotten never did like to mince words).  They were all better musicians and performers by then, so the concert was a much better musical experience than their original shows.  (I attended their L.A. show, and it was awesome; only the second concert I got frisked at.)  But the later tours could never recapture the experience that was punk in its early years, or the Sex Pistols at their furious best.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?