The Sex Pistols
Let's get one thing straight: the Sex Pistols did not "invent" punk -- in fact, they were modeled after New York rockers the Heartbreakers. Piddling technicality aside, not since Elvis had a single act caused such a ruckus. Though their career was extremely short-lived (lasting from November 1976 to January 1978), their impact on rock 'n' roll -- and popular culture as a whole -- is absolutely immeasurable. By now the story of their birth is legend. Manager Malcolm McLaren owned a small boutique, original bassist Glenn Matlock (later replaced by Sid Vicious) was an employee. Guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and vocalist Johnny Rotten were regulars. Soon the simple coupling of Jones' aggressive guitar work and Rotten's total irreverence for authority had galvanized a growing legion of disgruntled, lower class youth and earned them an official ban across their home country. More than that (and at risk of aligning them with Situationism, Marcus-style), the Pistols were an assault on the norm by its outcasts, a powerful force that made kids around the world (and, paradoxically, the corporate music establishment) feel OK about rebellion. They may not have invented punk rock, nor... See More
The Sex Pistols Concert Films
Classic Albums: Never Mind the Bollocks
The Sex Pistols
Runtime: 48 minNever Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (or simply Never Mind The Bollocks) is the only studio album by the highly influential and controversial English punk rock band The Sex Pistols. Fans and critics alike generally regard it as an extremely important album in the history of rock music, citing the lasting influence it has had on subsequent punk rock musicians, as well as other musical genres that were influenced by such punk rock artists. In 2003, Rolling Stone rated it forty-first on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The album was released on 27 October 1977 through Virgin Records amid controversy arising from the use of the coarse slang word (in British English) "bollocks" in its title.
Older versions of most of the album's songs also appeared on a bootleg album called Spunk, which consists of demo recordings the band had made during 1976 and January 1977, and which was released shortly before Never Mind The Bollocks.
The Sex Pistols Top Tracks
The Unheard Music
Runtime: 1 hr 24 minX: The Unheard Music takes long, detailed, and often funny look at the LA music scene of the late 70s and 80s and focuses on the group that critics had singled out as the leader of the underground pack. The Unheard Music is a documentary that combines live footage of the band and interviews with the four members (as well as their friends and families) with surreal music videos and montages of newsreel footage and vintage television commercials which help to illustrate X's uphill struggle against the music industry. Their story rings true even today.
Friday the Thirteenth
Runtime: 58 minProbably the most enduring band of the UK punk/new wave era, the legendary Stranglers perform live at Londons spectacular Royal Albert Hall. Accompanied by The Electra Strings
Dream Of Life
Runtime: 1 hr 49 minEleven years in the making, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is a unique and intimate portrait of the renowned singer, songwriter, poet and activist. Patti Smith’s music, poetry, and politics are fearless, funny, raw, and original. A beautiful collage of images, memories and performances illuminate the complexities, and captures the essence, of this distinctive, legendary icon. The film follows Patti Smith’s punk-icon roots in the 70s through the trials of daily life and untimely deaths that have formed her life and art. Smith tells the story of her early days in New York City and the people that are dearest to her including her late husband Fred Sonic Smith, Allen Ginsburg, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others, her family, and the political causes for which she so deeply struggled.
Runtime: 1 hr 19 minMinor Threat played one of its last shows at Washington DC's 930 Club in June of 1983; they would only play once more in DC. Two years later, the tapes from the 930 show were edited together and Dischord Records released them as the Minor Threat Live VHS video in 1986. Along with the 40 minute 930 performance, the film includes a 35 minute video of a 1982 Minor Threat show in Camden, NJ, a 12 minute clip of Minor Threat's 2nd ever show at DC Space in December 1980, and excerpts from a 1983 interview with the vocalist, Ian MacKaye.
The Rise and Fall of the Clash
Runtime: 1 hr 37 minThe only up-close and personal film about the juggernaut band The Clash and their meteoric trajectory through rock ‘n roll history, The Rise and Fall of The Clash features previously unseen footage of the band at work and at play, as well as interviews with the individual band members and with those who knew them well. This is not a film that pulls any punches, but neither does it overlook the life-changing effect that The Clash brought to so many. The Rise and Fall of The Clash paints the fascinating inside story of rivalries, treachery, betrayal and the internal band dynamics and managerial interference that ultimately led “the biggest band in the world” to self-destruct.
Lookin' Fine On Television
New York Dolls
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minThe legendary and infamous New York Dolls at their best! Amazing rare live clips and interviews filmed by Bob Gruen and Nadya Beck in the heady days of the band's ascension in the 70s. Footage from early shows in NYC all the way to the TV studios, clubs and swimming pools of Los Angeles. Black and white film was never so colorful! Includes ripping versions of ""Personality Crisis,"" ""Who Are the Mystery Girls?"" ""Babylon"" and more. See the incredible early days of the band that influenced generations of punks and rockers.
Live at the Roundhouse London
Runtime: 1 hr 6 minSeminal punk band X-ray Spex release a special live concert film recorded at 2008’s sell-out concert at the Roundhouse through new Future Noise Music imprint Year Zero. The first X-ray Spex live outing since 1979, this performance of their classic album Germ Free Adolescents saw singer Poly Styrene and bassist Paul Dean joined by friends Sid Truelove (anarcho-punk drummer with Rubella Ballet and Flux of Pink Indians), Mark Saxby (former guitarist with Arnold) and Flash (saxophone player, formerly with Rip Rig & Panic, Jah Wobble, Don Cherry and the Slits) at London’s Roundhouse on September 6th 2008 in front of 3,000 raucous fans. In 1976 X-ray Spex were formed by Poly Styrene placing an ad in NME and Melody Maker for "Young Punx Who Want To Stick It Together". For a generation sifting through the wreckage left by punk rock, X-ray Spex truly turned our world day-glo. The combination of tough, razor sharp riffs, kooky sax lines and Poly Styrene’s wonderful voice and incisive lyrics tearing into plastic consumerist society were perfect. Their 1978/79 stay was all too brief - a handful of memorable singles: debut Oh Bondage Up Yours! and the hits The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, Germ Free Adolescents and Highly Inflammable. Versions of all these songs are featured here, alongside previously unreleased new track Bloody War. X-ray Spex transcended punk, influencing a whole new scene of indie kids and post-Riot Grrrl rockers like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Gossip. The band’s innate genius and brilliant song writing makes them as relevant now as they were then. They are that rarest of things, a group that has never dated.