The Sex Pistols

If there is one band in the history of British culture that reeks of controversy and influence, it's the Sex Pistols. Despite their short lifespan, punk music is still reeling from the impact of this flamboyant antiestablishment gang. The Sex Pistols' early origins were in 1972 when a group of deviant British boys began to gravitate around a clothing boutique managed by Malcolm McLaren. A young quartet was formed. Several name changes, a couple different lineups, and a few short years later, the first official incarnation of the Sex Pistols was born, with Paul Cook on drums, Glen Matlock on bass, Steve Jones on guitar, and Johnny Rotten on vocals. McLaren was recruited to manage, and the Pistols were off, raising hell and wreaking havoc on London, the UK and Western Europe, driving the British punk movement with abrasive rock and roll and arrogant anarchist lyrics. Matlock was replaced by the notorious Sid Vicious in 1977, despite the fact that Sid couldn't play his instrument. Leaving a trail of wreckage and arrests in their wake, the Sex Pistols headed to the States for their first and last American tour, which lasted only two weeks, culminating in San Francisco where Rotten quit the band after their final concert at Winterland. The foursome parted ways. Sid Vicious went to New York, where soon after he was charged with murdering his girlfriend Nancy, and he subsequently died of a heroin overdose. The remaining members didn't work together again until a reunion tour in 1996, after which several more followed, and there are plans in the works for future public appearances by the original punks.

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