Electric & Musical Industries was formed in 1931, initially releasing classical music, but went on to launch the Beatles, who changed the record label's operations and funded the company for years and years. The label's recording rules were further broadened by Queen and Pink Floyd. EMI ushered punk into the mainstream with Sex Pistols, and then embraced the New Romanticism and the polished excesses of Duran Duran. They made music videos big with Pet Shop Boys and made Brit Pop a thing with Blur, and were home to Radiohead. This is the inside story of EMI, one of the greatest British brands in recording history, as told by people involved with the record label's storied history, augmented by company and performance footage. [more inside]
Hilariously bad Spanish covers of the Sex Pistols, circa 1978. Behold: Anarchy in the UK. [more inside]
The financial wisdom of Johnny Rotten. Former Sex Pistol John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) discusses spending, saving, investment, debt, and reveals the "best thing [he] ever bought." Unsurprisingly he's a bit cynical on celebrity charity, but it makes him "happy" when people spend their money on him.
"The Way They Were" [Vimeo] Punk and New Wave 1976 - 1978. Channel 4 UK programme first broadcast circa 1984 / 1985-ish. Hosted by the late Tony Wilson, it's a compilation of performances by bands taken from his previous TV shows in the late 70's, such as So It Goes. [more inside]
"Self-proclaimed knowledge, music, LEGO and die-cast car junkie, Adly Syairi Ramly presents a collection of 20 iconic bands that he’s taken the time to recreate with everyone’s favorite building blocks." [more inside]
Great Train Robbery brazen villain, rock star, former fugitive and former prisoner, and cultural icon, the always colourful Ronnie Biggs, has died. [more inside]
On Jun 4, 1976, between 40 and 100 people gathered to see the Sex Pistols perform at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, a gig that has been called "the greatest gig of all time." It was attended by members of Joy Division, New Order, the Fall, the Smiths, A Certain Ratio, Ludus, Simply Red, Buzzcocks, Magazine, the producer Martin Hannett, and voted one of the most important concerts of all time, alongside Woodstock and Live Aid. A documentary about that night is called "I Swear I Was There." (SLYT)
Sex Pistols vs Ce Ce Peniston. Music from an alternate, better, universe.
Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
The first Sex Pistols show in the USA. (audio only) Atlanta, GA, January 5, 1978.
A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
Who Killed Nancy is a documentary examining the lives and deaths of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. It features interviews with many of the people on the Punk scenes in both London and New York, including people who were in Sid and Nancy's Chelsea Hotel room on the night Nancy died.
'New Wave' means a loud rock and roll dance band like The Ramones, it means the angry punk politics of The Clash, and it also means the sort of intellectual art rock typified by The Talking Heads. A 20/20 segment from 1979 explores the origins and influence of New Wave, including live footage and brief interviews with The Clash and Talking Heads, as well as short clips of Levi and the Rockats, The Ramones, and Klaus Nomi. [via slicing up eyeballs and jukeboxgraduate.]
The Sex Pistols final concert @ Winterland, 1/14/78
"'Fucking huge,' said McLaren. He told us what sort of a film he had in mind. His ideas didn't involve a plot or a story line. As I recall, his only concern was that it star the Sex Pistols. Russ proposed 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls' meets 'A Hard Day's Night.'" Roger Ebert reflects on the Sex Pistols film that never came to be, "I wrote one scene which I particularly liked, involving Johnny Rotten encountering a storefront Church of Scientography, and being persuaded to be "clocked" on something called an H-Meter. This was a device hooked to a steering wheel and an accelerator, which somehow..."
Malcolm McLaren, one of pop's sharpest, most fantastic minds has died at his home in New York, aged 64.
God Save The Thief (automatic download) is a mashup of The Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" and Wolfmother's "Joker and The Thief" mixed by The Illuminoids.
The Greatest Interviews of the 20th Century according to The Guardian. The interviews are with Princess Diana, John Lennon, Marlon Brando, Dennis Potter, Francis Bacon, Marilyn Monroe, Sex Pistols, Malcolm X, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Margaret Thatcher and Fidel Castro. You know who else is interviewed? That's right, Nixon. Oh, and there's a Hitler interview, too. Apparently he likes tea. So do I. Funny ol' world. [via Neil Gaiman]
As it turns out, the Sex Pistols' "Belsen was a Gas" isn't the sort of thing that mobile phone companies want associated with their products.
Happy 50th Birthday, John Simon Ritchie. Possibly the most famous "musician" to be almost completely unable to play his own instrument, would be 50 years old today, had he lived. Even had he not overdosed in 1978, it's pretty unlikely he would have lived anyway, given his propensity for mayhem.
That ain't bad for two weeks work and 75,000 pounds. On this day in 1977, after being with the label for just six days, punk pioneers The Sex Pistols were fired from A&M Records due to pressure from other label artists and its Los Angeles head office. 25,000 copies of ‘God Save The Queen’ were pressed and the band made £75,000 ($127,500) from the deal, thus cementing the legend of the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Under pressure by Conservative MP Robert Adley among others due to their outrageous behavior - specifically, their notorious performance on ITV Today with Bill Grundy - EMI had dumped the band in January. Also appearing on television with Grundy and the Pistols that day were members of the Bromley Contingent: Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin, who later formed Siouxsie and the Banshees.
"The right man for the job will be aged between 18 and 21 and will presumably need to demonstrate an abundance of energy and the ability to withstand repeated showers of saliva, the traditional punk rock crowd's sign of respect for performers."
But who is the right man?
But who is the right man?
Has Axl Rose Gone to Far? MeFi favorites, the Replacements' Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson are said to have worked on Westerberg's new album, much to the chagrin of Axl Rose, Stinson's new boss. Did Rose stop a potential Replacement's Reunion? Does anyone care that the Sex Pistols are going to tour again?