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Friday, 10 March 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave 1977: The Pistols Sign for A&M


A few things had changed come March 10th 1977 in the life of the Sex Pistols, still considered Public Enemy Number One in the eyes of many. They were still barred from playing live in many places in the UK, they had a new bassist in Sid Vicious after Glen Matlock was ousted because of "his love for The Beatles", well that was daft the reason that Malcom McLaren was giving. In an interview a few months afterwards, Steve Jones echoed the charge that Matlock had been sacked because he "liked the Beatles." Jones expanded on the matter of the band's issues with Matlock: "He was a good writer but he didn't look like a Sex Pistol and he was always washing his feet. His mum didn't like the songs."  

Matlock told the NME that he had voluntarily left the band by "mutual agreement". He expanded on this with Tony Parsons, "I wanted to leave and they wanted me out. In the beginning it was just mates playing rock and roll and then later all the business side came in and spoiled it." He also outlined his plans for the future, "I just wanna make my music, get a band together. Maybe we'll call it Rich Kids - with my mate Jimmy Norton who plays guitar and sings...and I want it to be good! There's too much dross coming through, ain't there?" - Matlock did indeed put together a new band called the Rich Kids that didn't feature Jimmy Norton but there was Midge Ure (who had jumped ship from PVC2) on lead vocals and guitar, Steve New on lead guitar, Rusty Egan on drums and Matlock on bass and lead vocals. Mick Jones of The Clash also played a small part in the early days of the band. They wouldn't put any music out until January 1978 (strangely enough on EMI!) but they got the opportunity to do a session for John Peel that was broardcast on 7th November 1977.

The band had also been on the hunt for a new label following their departure from EMI in January 1977. They had only been with the label for around four months releasing only their debut single Anarchy In The UK / I Wanna Be Me.





The decision had been made to sign for A&M Records, home to the likes of Rick Wakeman, Peter Frampton, Supertramp and The Carpenters.


On the morning of the 10th March the band had a ceremonial signing outside Buckingham Palace (they had officially signed on the 9th) which was more for the benefit of the press.

Plans were afoot to rush release what would be their second single by 25th March and entering the spirit of the Queen's Silver Jubilee the track chosen was God Save The Queen. "It's not a punk rock version of the National Anthem, but the boys own genuine tribute to the Queen", said Malcom McLaren. You just knew that there was trouble ahead with that one!

backed by No Feeling.

McLaren had also said that there were possible live dates planned in Europe in April and that in May the Debut Album would be recorded.

Big plans indeed and in the uncertain world of the Sex Pistols plans could change at quite a rapid speed!

...To be continued!

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