I am only reviewing this bootleg in order to warn you: don’t ever, never buy a Sex Pistol bootleg. Don’t even ask to listen to it beforehand. Keep your distance. That is all I can tell you. The guys were famous for sounding bad live, and their performances were unofficially captured in the shoddiest of ways.
This particular line of bootlegs has at least three titles and I have listened both to this one (named “She Ain’t No Human Being”) and to one named “We Have Cum For Your Children” (not to be mistaken with an “official” release of the same name, put together by sound man Dave Goodman). Not only is there a huge fidelity problem, but the track listing is wrong. That is, they got the pressings all mixed up. If this album had had what it was supposed to have, it wouldn’t have made it listenable but at least it would have given it a certain retrospective value. According to the sleeve, it was to include “Watcha Gonna Do About It”, “Did You No Wrong”, “Understanding”… Instead, I have two discs that are like replica sets of “Bollocks” songs, with minor differences here and there (disc 2 has “Good Save The Queen” and a demo of “Liar”, and even the demo sounds appalling. That very same demo is available on the Spunk/Spedding discs and it sounds way better). Continue reading →
No Wonder Johnny Rotten Badmouths McLaren At Every Turn
When I bought this album I was in the middle of my punk heydays, and I don’t recall feeling as enraged ever in my life as when I first played it. I didn’t really get it. And any person who goes into it thinking only in terms of “Never Mind The Bollocks” will be but disappointed.
You see, this was the soundtrack to a widely-banned movie that manager Malcolm McLaren assembled after Johnny Rotten had left. Many were approached by McLaren with a view of becoming the Pistols’ new lead singer, including Ten Pole Tudor and the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs (one of the most celebrated criminals in history). In the end, everybody (including the original Pistols) handled vocals, and some early recordings featuring Johnny Rotten were thrown into the mix.
I know no single band that encapsulated so much what a musical movement was all about than The Sex Pistols, England’s most remarkable punk rock outfit. Every characteristic feature was palpable in them: the musical abrasiveness, the rampant political stance, the self-destructiveness, and the instrumental lack of prowess. I thought the last part of the previous statement over and over. I did not want to use an expression like “musical ineptitude”, but the fact remains that the true identity of those who played on their one and only album (“Never Mind The Bollocks – Here’s The Sex Pistols”, released in 1977) remains unknown. Continue reading →