The Sex Pistols (1975-1979)
Johnny Rotten (vocals)
Steve Jones (guitar)
Glen Matlock (bass) 1975-1977
Paul Cook (drums)
Sid Vicious (bass) 1977-1979
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Sid Vicious is credited with inventing the "Pogo," where you bounce up and down to the music. This eventually led to moshing.
Sid's real name was John Simon Ritchie; he and John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) were part of a gang called The Johns. He got his new moniker when Rotten's Hamster Sid bit John Ritchie's finger; he yelped and said "Your Sid was vicious."
Sid Vicious died on February 2, 1979 of an overdose of heroin his mother had bought for him. It was likely an intentional suicide as Sid was extremely depressed about his role in the death of his girlfriend, groupie Nancy Spungen. The couple were the subject of the 1986 film Sid and Nancy.
After Johnny Rotten left The Sex Pistols he formed a new band, Public Image LTD (PiL) and reverted back to his original name, Lydon. (thanks, Sam - Bristol, England)
In 2004, John Lydon appeared on a British reality TV program set in an Australian jungle called I'm a Celebrity, get me outta here! He caused controversy by saying the C word live on British TV. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
In 2005, they were voted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In true Punk Rock form, they refused to attend the ceremony and sent a note to Rolling Stone magazine voicing their displeasure with the institution ("Next to the Sex Pistols, that Hall Of Fame is a piss stain"). Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner read the note in its entirety at the ceremony.
Johnny Rotten was known to wear a shirt that said "Pink Floyd sucks" as Punk was rebelling not only against society, but also the complex progressive music which Pink Floyd were a perfect example of. David Gilmour (guitarist of Pink Floyd) has said that when he met Rotten that the Sex Pistol singer apologized for the stunt and admitted he was a fan of Pink Floyd. (thanks, Benny - Sac, CA)
They were known first as The Strand, then The Swankers before settling on The Sex Pistols.
Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols is the only studio album they released. All others were live albums, compilations or movie soundtracks. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
In November 2007 The Sex Pistols reformed to play 5 nights at Brixton's Carling Academy and also gigs in Glasgow and Manchester. They also played on The Craig Fergurson Show and The Jay Leno Show.
Also in 2007, they rerecorded "Anarchy In The UK" and "Pretty Vacant" for Guitar Hero. (thanks, Andrew - Thrapston, England)
When the band was conceived, Steve Jones was the lead singer. He moved to guitar when original member Wally Nightingale left, which left an opening for a frontman. Rotten got the job when he auditioned for their manager Malcolm McLaren by lip-synching to the Alice Cooper song "I'm Eighteen
Johnny Rotten has described the band as "musical vaudeville" and "evil burlesque," admitting that their image and stage shows are as important as their music. Alice Cooper
was a big influence on him.
John Lydon revealed to the Scottish Daily Record that Mick Jagger paid for Sid Vicious' lawyers when Sid was under arrest for the murder of Nancy Spungeon in 1978. "I don't think Malcolm lifted a finger," mused Lydon. "For that I have a good liking of Mick Jagger."
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