The Birth of The Sex Pistols at Central Saint Martins

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November 6, 1975 and four working class punk-rock teenagers performed in public for the first time at Central Saint Martins College.

This was the burst to what would be identified as the the 70s punk movement in the UK. Commemorating The Sex Pistols’ 40th anniversary of their first ever performance, the college are holding a Sex Pistols filled evening celebrating punk culture. 

The college are working in collaboration with Paul Gorman, writer and archivist of Be Reasonable Demand the Impossible, an exhibition to display punks impact on fashion where Gorman explores the Sex Pistols most famous and influential clothing.

The band’s bassist Glen Matlock will be a guest speaker during the evening, as well as designer Sebastian Conran who will be speaking on the influence of punk culture in fashion and the Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLauren.

Early 70s Britain was corrupt; on the brink of unemployment, rubbish littered the dull streets of run down homes. The political system was not working, the working class were unhappy.

Coming out of this chaos were The Sex Pistols, they have been widely known for their political punk statements which embarked the punk movement of the 70’s. Following in the punk footsteps of The Stooges the band quickly become the identity to punk culture. 

Formed in 1972, the band evolved from London based band The Strand. Three teenagers, Steve Jones, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock took inspiration from 60s mod and rock n roll bands by the likes of The Who and The Small Faces.

It wasn’t until they spotted a angry looking green haired rocker under the name of John Lydon wearing an ‘I HATE PINK FLOYD’ T-shirt, that The Strand became the four man band The Sex Pistols in 1975. 

Being used to having the plug pulled 10 minutes into their performances, the band were not afraid to offend and cause controversy.

December 1, 1976 saw a change in the band’s musical career forever when appearing on the Today show hosted by Bill Grundy.

Unaware they were to be interviewed live uncensored across London, band member Steve Jones was engorged to brake out in a chain of F-words, due to Grundy’s ruddiness and manipulation.

According to The Guardian, Grundy said he wanted ‘to prove that these louts were a foul-mouthed set of yobs’. News headlines dedicated to The Sex Pistols and punk filled the front pages the next day as Grundy’s career was destroyed and The Pistols were enhanced.

Amongst the bad press and crude interviews the band’s most famous album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols went straight to number one when released in 1977.

Although the birth of punk was not from The Sex Pistols, they encouraged other punk banks to form and to become anti corporate, therefore The Sex Pistols will always be established as the image to the punk movement.

Central St Martins will be cover a range of films, art, music and talks based around the Sex Pistols and punk, it is open to all University of the Arts members, taking place November 6, from 6:00pm until 11:00pm.