One More Reason To Still Love the Sex Pistols

|

The Sex Pistols–who gave the British Royal family its most sympathetic press in the days before Princess Di emerged as the unlikely savior of inbred aristocrats everywhere–have pulled a Jean-Paul Sartre (who declined the Nobel Prize in Literature on the grounds that such awards "institutionalized" writers) and snubbed the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. (Sartre, true to the intellectual integrity that allowed him to be an apologist for Stalin and the Soviet Union, did later try to claim the $$$ associated with the Nobel Prize; there's no doubt that if induction into the RnRHo carried any filthy lucre, the Pistols would have spent it before telling the Hall to fuck off.)

"The band," reports the UK Independent, "have decided to snub their induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an annual extravaganza in which the music business honours its most influential figures. In a handwritten message, complete with spelling mistakes, posted on singer John Lydon's website, the band said they will not be attending a glitzy ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, next month."

"Next to the SEX-PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain," the note said. "Your museum. Urine in wine. Were not coming. Were not your monkey and so what?" It went on to criticise the cost of tables at the event—up to £15,000 each—and ended: "Were not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL."

More here.

And go here for background on former SP guitarist Steve Jones' excellent "Jonesy Jukebox" show on SoCal's 103.1 FM, one of the great insane music programs on the air. It's truly a full-employment economy when a criminal personality such as Jones can not only find work but a perfect niche for his particular talents.

NEXT: Back to Abortion (X 2 Edition)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well… I guess someone had to say it.

  2. Speaking of particular talents, check out John Lydon’s Megabugs: http://www.johnlydon.com/megabugs.html

    I guess it’s a more interesting way to sell out.

  3. [In best Ben Stein-y voice]
    “Oh wow. What rebels. Truly they have shocked the system”
    zzzzzz…….

  4. The Sex Pistols were always easy to swallow punks for the masses.

    Men in their fifties trying to regain their image of rebellion from 3 decades ago does not count as cool (particularly after doing a 25 year reunion tour just cuz they got paid).

    To be fair to Lyndon. PIL did put out two of the best albums of the eighties.

  5. When does Chrome get put in the RRHF?

  6. “John Lydon has fronted two of the most influential ? and important ? bands ever: and that’s a fact. But there is far more to him than just music. This is no ‘one trick pony’, this is a man who can turn his hand to virtually anything; if and when it suits him.

    Maybe most importantly, this is a man who helped make people stand up and think for themselves, and in doing so helped change the world. John Lydon is no ‘rock n roll’ cliche, you won?t find self indulgence, broken televisions and Jack Daniel’s bottles anywhere near him. He is a free thinker who refuses labels or categories, and demands it from others…

    However, what is needed to be remembered in this world of media hype ? and media snide ? is that first and foremost John Lydon is just a human being. He?s made mistakes, and he’s had triumphs. You neither have to love him nor hate him, but you have to respect him. John Lydon is living proof that sheer bloody mindedness’ ? coupled with raw talent ? can achieve anything.

    Lydon has been described as a ?Cunt? and he?s been described as a ?King?. It?s safe to say he?s somewhere or nowhere in-between (depending on which day it is). We’re not here to talk him up or run him down; you can make up your own mind?”

    -From Lydon’s Bio

    That speaks for itself. I’d put him closer to the “Cunt” end of the spectrum, being the self-important, self-absorbed, self-worshipping “free thinker” that he is.

    I guess being a “free thinker” includes throwing off the oppressive shackles of correct spelling, grammar and penmanship.

    And, no, I don’t have to respect him. I don’t have to respect anyone. It’s those that earn my respect that receive it—and being an arrogant, self-loving asshole who thumbs his nose at those who try to recognize your talents, well, I don’t much respect that.

  7. I’m pretty sure that ceremony is in NYC, and not Cleveland.

    Cleveland may have the Rock Hall, but the city has apparently never been considered good enough by the Hall of Fame’s NYC directors for the actual induction ceremonies.

  8. The Damned were way better anyway.

  9. Television, Pere Ubu, Joy Division, and (of course) The Clash I guess are my picks for best punk bands– notice how none of them are really punk in the sense of amateurish dickheads rewriting the same song over and over again before dying of a heroin overdose.

  10. It’s funny how people look back at the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Gen X, etc., and call them easy to swallow for the masses. …There wasn’t anything easy to swallow about them–the fucking Disco Era went well into the early eighties–people forget. People who weren’t listening to disco or “Album Rock” were listening to “Soft Rock”–a mixture of Carpernter’s wannabes, singer/songwriters from the sixties and groups like the Doobie Brothers, America, etc. …There wasn’t anything about the Sex Pistols that was easy to swallow for the masses. “Album Rock” stations weren’t playin’ ’em then, and Classic Rock stations don’t play ’em now. …and just about every punk rock band that comes onto Indy 103.1, and I’m not talkin’ about Jones’ show, points to them as their inspiration.

    Punk Rock wouldn’t have been what it was without the Sex Pistols. …and they were never accepted by the masses. I love how every punk band people have heard of is a sell out. Some of ’em did sell out–back in ’86 or so, half the third seemed to go speed metal. …but the Sex Pistols never did that.

    So if you’re a punk rock band, one that’s not “Punk Rock for the Masses”, what do you have to do? Die? If John Macias (Circle One), Darby Crash (The Germs), Jeffrey Lee Pierce (The Gun Club) had lived, would you have called them sell outs? Sid Vicious lived and died a punk, was Syd Vicious? A lot of people have heard of X now, is X Punk Rock for the masses? Is Glen Danzig Punk Rock for the Masses?

    Who out there was so hardcore in ’76, that the Sex Pistols decided to water it down and sell it to the masses? Blondie doin’ “Heart of Glass” for Top 40 radio was Punk for the masses. The Talking Heads doin’ “Take me to the River” for Album Rock radio was Punk for the masses. The Police doin’ “Roxanne” was Punk for the masses. I remember seeing The Ramones on Sha Na Na’s TV show. …but there wasn’t anything about the Sex Pistols that was for the masses.

  11. Joni Mitchell did the same thing in the late nineties. And she’s just a girl!

  12. There wasn’t anything about the Sex Pistols that was easy to swallow for the masses.

    That’s largely because their music was crap. I mean really, there’s something funny about a group of guys who’re all image and no musical talent rebelling against a society that’s supposedly only concerned with appearance and crass materialism.

  13. Ken,

    MC5? The Velvets? The Stooges? Throbbing Gristle (whom I hate)? I don’t want to sound like an ass, but it seems to me that the Sex Pistols WERE a watered-down version of all these bands (except Throbbing Gristle, I guess) and more. The Pistols took the cacophonic part of these bands and stripped away their artsy inclinations. They were important, but as images not musicians. (my opinion).

  14. “Were not coming. Your not paying attention…”

    Apparently they’re rebelling against the English language too…

  15. They should dig up Sid…

  16. That’s largely because their music was crap. I mean really, there’s something funny about a group of guys who’re all image and no musical talent rebelling against a society that’s supposedly only concerned with appearance and crass materialism.

    You say “no musical talent” like the people who, back in the day, used to get stoned, put on their earphones, close their eyes and listen to Yes. If that’s what rock & roll was to you, more power to you. …The Sex Pistols were born in opposition to this perversion of rock & roll.

    The Sex Pistols made me want to jump around, look for a fight, use foul language and break all my parents’ rules. When I hear “Pretty Vacant” now, I still want to find a rule and break it. Something tells me that either a) you never felt that way about music or b) you don’t like music that makes you feel that way.

    …Disparage the genre if you like, the Sex Pistols place within that genre remains the same.

  17. MC5? The Velvets? The Stooges? Throbbing Gristle (whom I hate)? I don’t want to sound like an ass, but it seems to me that the Sex Pistols WERE a watered-down version of all these bands (except Throbbing Gristle, I guess) and more. The Pistols took the cacophonic part of these bands and stripped away their artsy inclinations. They were important, but as images not musicians. (my opinion).

    …and the funny thing is, when you listen to Steve Jones’ show, those are the kinds of bands he plays. He plays a whole hell of a lotta glam too.

    I’m coming from a Southern Calfornia by way of DC punky perspective–I think of the Sex Pistols, and their kin, the way Zeppelin aficionados think of the old blues greats, I think. I suppose the blues greats Zeppelin, et. al. emulated had influences of their own too.

    The Stooges, obviously, weren’t for the masses. …and if I want to think of a watered down version of The Stooges, I think of The Dead Boys–and I love The Dead Boys. The Sex Pistols as a watered down Stooges? I don’t see that.

    I think some of you are forgetting the hatred with which punk rock was greeted. Admittedly, the Sex Pistols were a little before my time, but, as I recall, people hated the Sex Pistols. Disco people hated it. Album Rock people hated it. …and the really watered down stuff came, when it came, so quick, people didn’t have time to adjust.

    Do you remember Solid Gold, the TV show? It was a disco show with disco “Solid Gold Dancers”. I was thinking about this the other day–I remember seeing the Plasmatics do “Black Monster” on Solid Gold! …with the dancers in the background! There was some really, really watered down punk rock out there in ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82–but the Sex Pistols weren’t that. They don’t seem a “watered down” version of what came before them to me, and just plain weren’t a watered down version of what came after them. …It seems like what came after them was a watered down version of them.

    …Hence, the birth of Hardcore.

  18. Ken,

    Lydon at the last Sex Pistols show made the famous statement “you ever feel like you have been cheated?” He wasn’t talking about the audience, he was talking about himself and the band. They were cheated by Malcolm McClaren who took them and made them from a band into a circus act. I think that Lydon realized towards the end that they had been sold out and made into a freak show. I think the some point the Sex Pistols stopped having a message and became shocking just to be shocking and make McClaren money. I think the band was a real expression of something when it started, but that all ended pretty quickly.

  19. I wonder how long Ken’s been storing those rants up in his vault, just waiting with an itchy trigger finger for someone to talk some krunk about Sex Pistols. It’s like the wine expert who waits around for someone remark how much they like Yellow Tail.

  20. Ever get the feeling you’ve been

  21. I was in high school in the late 70’s and I remember the punk scene’s arrival very well. Though I was never a real fan of the style, it does have its place in music history and has had its share of influences.

    Now when an organization that represents the music industry (and hopefully the views of the fans that basically have paid everybody’s way) decides to honor you and your accomplishments and you respond by basically giving them the finger, it isn’t just “the establishment” that you’ve given the big F.O. You have basically told all of your fans to piss off as well.

    Without your fans you are nothing and you sure as hell wouldn’t have any income. Money not the issue? See how hard a musician laughs if you ask him to do a major performance for free. Even those who have done so in the past did it for major tax breaks.

    Honor us in the Hall of Fame and insure we are remembered forever, I don’t think so.

    Yeah, that will really show them. In 10 or 15 more years, people won’t even know your name. All you’ll end up being is a footnote on some moldy VH1 music documentary.

    So if these arrogant bastards intend to piss on their public and the industry that they have chosen for a profession, then maybe they deserve to fade off into oblivion and be forgotten.

  22. John,

    Unfortunately or not, I don’t see that happening. I don’t want to deny the Pistols their place in music history at all; I just think there were better punk bands out there– and more original ones. As a side note, it was at a Sex Pistols concert that the guys from Joy Division decided to start a band.

  23. Cleveland may have the Rock Hall, but the city has apparently never been considered good enough by the Hall of Fame’s NYC directors for the actual induction ceremonies.

    It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  24. Ken-None of what you’ve said changes the fact that they demonstrated no musical talent whatsoever. Anybody with a guitar could’ve written their songs. Yeah, they were important. Yeah, they were great performers. Doesn’t mean they were musicians.

  25. Good for Rotten. I wish Pete Rose had the cajones to send the same note to Bud Selig.

    As for the Pistols “fading off into oblivion”, Neil Young has already covered that more eloquently than I could.

  26. Television, Pere Ubu, Joy Division, and (of course) The Clash I guess are my picks for best punk bands– notice how none of them are really punk in the sense of amateurish dickheads rewriting the same song over and over again before dying of a heroin overdose.

    No, Joy Division was really punk in the sense of one amateurish dickhead writing the some mopey song over and over then hanging himself.

    And as a born Clevelander, let me say for the record that Pere Ubu = Teh Suck. I’ll take the Dead Boys from Akron any day. And DEVO, of course.

  27. Ken-None of what you’ve said changes the fact that they demonstrated no musical talent whatsoever. Anybody with a guitar could’ve written their songs.

    Yeah . . . but they didn’t. And it takes talent to write a hook, even one as simple as “Anarchy in the UK” or “God Save the Queen.”

  28. I wonder how long Ken’s been storing those rants up in his vault, just waiting with an itchy trigger finger for someone to talk some krunk about Sex Pistols.

    Yeah, well, I guess I’m just an asshole.

  29. You skeptics have to admit, this is exactly what Johnny Rotten would have done if he’d gotten this offer in 1979.

    An Al Green fan would have wanted Al to dress up like it’s 1970 again, and put on a performance like it was dug out of a time capsule.

    Lydon’s message is exactly the same thing.

    Piss off!

  30. None of what you’ve said changes the fact that they demonstrated no musical talent whatsoever. Anybody with a guitar could’ve written their songs. Yeah, they were important. Yeah, they were great performers. Doesn’t mean they were musicians.

    I hope you get my point, Shem. …which is that the music wasn’t the main focus, or, rather, that the music wasn’t the only focus. It was more than that. Once here, some poster or other was comparing the music of First Wave punk bands to the Third Wave and, it seemed to me anyway, that this missed the point. …’cause it wasn’t just about the recordings. It was the experience, the authenticity of the experience, it was bein’ at the show, it was gettin’ hassled… It was about personal freedom, despite it all, which isn’t to say that the music wasn’t important. I took “Sonic Reducer” as a personal theme song, it meant something different to me, I think, than my musician friend stayed up all hours of the night ’til he could perfectly reproduce Steve Howe’s solo album.

    Regardless, The Sex Pistols weren’t for the masses.

  31. Shem,

    Yes, anyone could have played their songs.

    Very, very few people could have written their songs in the late 1970s.

    You think it’s so easy, you change rock and roll.

  32. You think it’s so easy, you change rock and roll.

    Is “Jailhouse Rock” so technical? What about, “Who do you love?” “How ’bout, “Got my Mojo Workin'”?

    Those songs aren’t so hard to master, but what would Rock & Roll have been without those artists?

  33. If rock ‘n roll is music, then the Sex Pistols were great musicians. Bollocks to all who disagree!

  34. We are a church made up of individuals who Welcome Everyone. Doesn?t matter what you wear, look like, the color of your hear, your orientation or identification. What matters to us is that want to share in our community!

  35. To be fair to Lyndon. PIL did put out two of the best albums of the eighties

    Here! Here!

    Actually, I would say MORE than two, as I’ve always been a big fan of Lydon/PiL more than I ever was of the Pistols (I actually preferred Rock and Roll Swindle to Bollocks)

    Happy? is definitely on my Top 5 list of all genres, of all time, definitely my fave of 1987. Album, First Edition, That What is Not, the first half of This Is What You Want, This is What You Get and the album after Happy?are runners up.

    Metal Box and Flowers didn’t do all that much for me, however. As an amateur bassist myself, I just didn’t see what all the Jah Wobble fuss was about …

  36. A pack of clowns is still playing the enfants terrible at their age? Why should anyone care?

    -jcr

  37. You think it’s so easy, you change rock and roll.

    I think flushing it would be a better way to treat it.

  38. I think flushing it would be a better way to treat it.

    Mr. Fletcher, my memory’s a little foggy, but you’re the ol’ Mod from wayback as I recall, is that correct?

    …if so, if they tried to put The Jam into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, not that that’s likely to happen, 1) Do you think Weller would pass up a chance to mug it up? 2) Would you be peeved at Weller for accepting? …just think, they could squeeze Weller in right between Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent!

  39. That’s largely because their music was crap … all image and no musical talent

    No musical talent? Geez…one of the reasons I love Never Mind the Bollocks so much is because it’s such well-crafted pop. (Same goes for the Ramones. Who launched the lie that punk was never melodic?)

    By the way, Lydon was a big fan of The Future and Its Enemies, and both Nick Gillespie and Virginia Postrel were guests on his Internet radio show (which I suspect is defunct by now). Are those interviews still online somewhere?

    Eric: Does Joy Division really belong on the same list with great bands like Pere Ubu and The Clash? “Love Will Tear Us Apart” has to be on the short list of contenders for Most Boring Song Ever.

  40. Couple things;
    1. The Sex Pistols were real back in the day, in the ol’ UK. Fight routinely broke out at their shows. Venues would only even annouce a show day of show.
    2. They rock. Pretty Vacant starts with a hook so good something like it only gets written once a decade, or less.
    3. The shambles of their US tour gives all of us with an appreciation of the absurd the giggles.

  41. They’re totally shitting on anyone who as accepted the invitation to be in the Hall of Fame.

    Take a fucking compliment.

    Nobody has talked about them in a hundred years (alright, at least during my 21 year lifetime); they’re lucky to even be nominated.

  42. Ken,
    thanks for dredgeing up that Solid Gold moment. I remember Wendy O and her band accompanied by the Solid Gold Dancers, talk abouta mixed metahpor. I’d bet that footage is available on the net somewhere, and I’m gonna look.

    I was listening to Jonesy the other day when he opened his show withe the hall of fame story. As he often does, he whipped out the (acoustic) guitar and sang an impromptu song about it, it was quite amusing.

    Regardless of your feelings about the “punkiness” or propriety of snubbing the hall of fame, you have to admit, the ceremony is just like any other entertainment industry awards ceremony, an opportunity for these companies to advetise and sell more of their product. It has precious little to do with “honoring” the artists.

    Lay off Joy Division. And let’s hear it for the best punk band of all time DEVO!

  43. “Now when an organization that represents the music industry (and hopefully the views of the fans that basically have paid everybody’s way) decides to honor you and your accomplishments and you respond by basically giving them the finger, it isn’t just “the establishment” that you’ve given the big F.O. You have basically told all of your fans to piss off as well.”

    Of course, yeah, that’s what the Sex Pistols were about, being nice to the establishment.

    And one should actually look at previous inductees*, aparantly these are the people who the Hall thinks all those are more ‘influential’ than the Sex Pistols. The list speaks for itself.

    * http://www.rockhall.com/hof/allinductees.asp

  44. I think that Ken makes a good case that the Pistols didn’t modify their stuff to achieve wider appeal. Whatever the case, the Sex Pistols’ music is great! The only punk that I like is old school punk and old school style punk. The Ramones are my faves. (my cell phone says:” Rickey Ramone”) I like the Clash also but I would never wear a Clash T cuz of their lefty proclivities.

    Gotta mention H&Rs own fyodor here in Denver whose Little Fyodor band is like a genera of Punk. fyodor lists the Ramones as a major influence. fyodor’s music is really fun and the Little Fyodor live shows have to be experienced to be believed.

    http://www.littlefyodor.com/mainpage.html

    Oh yeah, I have a down load of the pistols talking about getting knifed by guys who followed them out of a pub and were cheesed off about “God Save the Queen”.

  45. And let’s hear it for the best punk band of all time DEVO!

    Devo-Yeah! But I think of em more as New Wave. Here in Denver, they were the headliners in a New Wave show last summer.

  46. Mr. Fletcher, my memory’s a little foggy, but you’re the ol’ Mod from wayback as I recall, is that correct?

    Right matey — care for a bit o’ fish & chips?

    Actually I’m the guy who has scientifically dated the death of rock and roll to the release of Bachman-Turner’s Taking Care of Business. I’m serious, I’m talking about regular carbon-dating here.

    Anyway, I kept that dead rock and roll fish in my tank for a few years but it just keep stinking up the joint, getting more and more Rotten. The final straw for me was when I started hearing noises coming from the tank that sounded like ‘hey hey my my.’ I flushed that fish and called up Bill Monroe and announced, reporting for duty, Sir.

    Hope that clears things up.

  47. …It doesn’t hurt that the Pistols’ rebelliousness fits in well with my libertarian nature. It seems there’s definite affinity between libertarians and punk music. But I was thinking – if we lived in a freer world with less government, maybe punk wouldn’t hold the same appeal for libertarians…

  48. I think one of the main problems facing the earth is that people still think music has the power to change things.

    It doesn’t.

    Music is crap. Bono et al (nice sunglasses dipshit) don’t help. Madonna doesn’t help. Lyndon is a turd. Pop is rubbish. Rap is crap. Rock is shit.

    Music sucks.

    By the way, what I have just written is a scientific fact.

  49. I must admit that I really liked the way you’ve highlighted the point here and having such a healthy discussion and different viewpoints on the topic.

  50. I think one of the main problems facing the earth is that people still think music has the power to change things.

    It doesn’t.

    Wow. And I thought *I* was disaffected.

  51. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.”

  52. The notion that the Pistols will eventually become minor footnotes in music history merely underscores Lydon’s constant stand of preferring to think for himself, to be independent of mass corporate control.

    Independence remains a revolutionary concept, and hopefully many minds of each and every future generation will embrace it.

  53. Elvis C:

    Writing about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a really stupid thing to want to do

    And using a singer’s name for your screename is…

    😉

  54. Does Joy Division really belong on the same list with great bands like Pere Ubu and The Clash? “Love Will Tear Us Apart” has to be on the short list of contenders for Most Boring Song Ever.

    Back when Joy Division were called Warsaw, they were a loud guitar punk band. Boring or not, when they went with a more syth-based sound no one else had been doing it yet.

    How can a thread mention Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys without mention of Rocket From The Tombs?

  55. I would rather see the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and the Village People in the hall of fame than the AOR stuff the Pistols denigrated.

  56. I noticed that they finally gave Black Sabbath a nomination nod this year. To me, the whole notion of a Rock & Roll hall of fame without Sabbath was so ridiculous that I utterly failed to see why anyone would care whether the Pistols were in there or not.

    Anyway, now that Sabbath have been nominated, I will continue to eschew them as long as Can are ignored. This could go on forever.

  57. Yeah, they were important. Yeah, they were great performers. Doesn’t mean they were musicians.

    SO FUCKEN WHAT? This is rock n roll, not classical music!! Or even jazz. Who gives a damn about technical ability? Well okay, it can be a means to an end, it can wow you in its own right, but IT’S NOT NECESSARY. When I hear the Sex Pistols I feel like someone’s reaching out of the speakers and shaking me by my wringed neck. It’s powerful. Who gives a fuck if they did it with technical ability or some inexplicable voodoo? They did it. And if you don’t hear it, well we all have different tastes. I’m not gonna try to prove to you that they were good. But to my ears they were damn well effective, making their level of technical ability an utterly moot point. Except that it shows that such ability is not necessary, and hey, even YOU can do it! (As it did for me.) And as I’ve said about The Beatles, that they had an impact stands on its own, whether or not they were just in the right time and place or however you wanna justify it to dismiss it, it still happened and that’s why we’re talking about it.

    Thanks, Rick!

  58. if we lived in a freer world with less government, maybe punk wouldn’t hold the same appeal for libertarians…

    While I can imagine a world in which libertarian ideas are vastly more popular than they are now, perhaps even reaching a majority, I cannot imagine a world where the tension between those who want freedom and those who want to control is totally vanquished. I think the desire to control others (and its utility!) is ingrained fully enough in the human experience that we’ll never be able to take freedom for granted. Thus there’ll always be a place for those who extoll and celebrate freedom!

  59. Alas, Mark, the truth is that YOU don’t have the power to change anything. You’re helpless. Like dust in the wind.

    But Rock? Rock and roll will never die.

  60. Let’s get down to brass tacks here. The Sex Pistols had very little musical talent and put out one whole album. No other inductee to the RnRHoF has had less ability or a smaller oeuvre than the Pistols. The question, then, is, do they deserve it anyway?

    The Pistols had an undeniable cultural effect on rock music. Their negative “piss off” attitude toward everything, coupled with their hyper self-destructive antics (which other bands have emulated and exceeded), were a shock to the typical music listener. Whether it was an act or the “real deal” isn’t really important. It was influential. They pretty much created punk, which is to say that their caustic refusal to fit in created a cadre of followers eager to fit in to the new scene. Many better, more talented, more savvy bands followed. But the RnRHoF is about beginnings, and the Pistols were the beginning.

    However, this also means that the Pistols were famous in much the same way that, say, Ashlee Simpson is famous. For both, talent, music, and performance is secondary to the other stuff that makes rock n’ roll. This is not to dminish the value of what the Pistols contributed, but merely to acknowledge that rock n’ roll has never been just about the music, and that the Pistols aren’t the only ones who made their biggest mark outside the traditional means. On paper, the Pistols don’t deserve the nomination, or the opportunity to refuse it. But I know many punk bands that do, and every one of them would acknowledge the Pistols as a primary influence. That, it seems to me, is good enough.

  61. Jesse,

    For the sake of argument, I won’t dispute your characterization of “Love Will Tear us Apart” as boring (I don’t agree- but whatever). Let’s not forget, thought, that Joy Division wrote a ton of great songs on two practically flawless albums. If “Decades”, the last song on “Closer”, doesn’t devastate you then nothing will. And for the fellow who said all they did was re-write the same mopey song over and over again– listen to “Transmission” or “Colony” or “Atrocity Exhibition” and say that then. Hell, “Transmission” is kind of darkly ecstatic. So I’d say they’re up there with the other bands. But that’s just me.

  62. Rick,

    That quote is attributed to Elvis Costello. So the screen name is appropriate.

  63. Cleveland may have the Rock Hall, but the city has apparently never been considered good enough by the Hall of Fame’s NYC directors for the actual induction ceremonies.

    This is true, the ceremonies are not in Cleveland. This sad fact only adds insult to injury since, as a Clevelander, I think the insitution of the RaRHoF is an irrelevant piece of shite, anyway.

    However, this also means that the Pistols were famous in much the same way that, say, Ashlee Simpson is famous. For both, talent, music, and performance is secondary to the other stuff that makes rock n’ roll.

    This thought nicely and briefly sums up why, to repeat myself, I think the Rock Hall is completely irrelevant.

    Anyway, now that Sabbath have been nominated, I will continue to eschew them as long as Can are ignored. This could go on forever.

    mk,

    Can rules. You will see a whole lot of awesome bands like Can snubbed (never nominated or inducted) because the Rock Hall is just a money-making scheme for the self-serving pop music industry, not its inductees or bands that truly make memorable and significant music. I, like you, will continue to eschew the Rock Hall and anything related to it (although I did attend a pretty awesome record collectors expo there once).

    “Love Will Tear Us Apart” has to be on the short list of contenders for Most Boring Song Ever.

    There is an exclamation I’m trying to think of to express my relief that someone else is of the same opinion. Anyway, thanks for saying what I had been subconsciously thinking all along, Jesse.

  64. eric mattingly,

    I’ve always thought that a direct line runs from “Glass” through Ministry’s “Stigmata” to the entirety of the industrial music that followed.

  65. Calling shoe staring music boring misses the point of it, I think. …you could say the same about “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” or “Arabian Nights” or “How Soon is Now?” That stuff’s not my kind of thing, but it goes back to the idea that it wasn’t all about the recordings, per se. …It was the experience, the live performance, etc.

  66. One man’s jelly doughnut is another woman’s peanut brittle.

  67. Joe,

    I totally agree. Certainly Mark Hannet’s production was a major influence on Industrial Music’s development. For me the line runs from JD to Swans early work which took the mechanized isolation of Glass and Colony etc. and increased the anger while reducing the groove to one drillingly brutal loop– which was then taken to less convincing heights by the industrial movement. (I much prefer the Swans later work which eschewed this aesthetic and became more mythological and melodic– all the while maintaining a bleakness and intensity that makes industrial and death metal sound like Puddle of Mud).

  68. One man’s jelly doughnut is another woman’s peanut brittle.

    I’d love to listen to fyodor’s recordings, for instance, but I’d much rather go and see the show! If thirty years from now, people talk about the whole fyodor experience without accounting for the live experience, they’ll be missing the point, I’m sure.

  69. If thirty years from now, people talk about the whole fyodor experience

    If anyone’s talking about me in thirty years, that must be when I die!! 🙂

  70. They’re totally shitting on anyone who has accepted the invitation to be in the Hall of Fame.

    So what? They’re supposed to play nice and accept the “honor” of something so ludicrous for the sake of not shitting on the likes of Duran Duran or the Go-Go’s?

  71. To take issue with just one thing in NaG’s otherwise very, very good post:

    However, this also means that the Pistols were famous in much the same way that, say, Ashlee Simpson is famous.

    In the words of Rev. Lovejoy, “Yes,” with an “if” or “No,” with a “but.” The difference is that I can probably find dozens of cover versions of Sex Pistols songs on recordings by dozens of bands, and there’s probably a band starting up in some kid’s garage right now and they’re playing “God Save the Queen.” Nobody except maybe Kidz Bop is ever going to cover Ashlee Simpson.

  72. One man’s jelly doughnut is another woman’s peanut brittle.

    But is Guava a Donut?

  73. Elvis C,

    Gotcha. Thanks. I was kinda wondering cuz you put it in quotes. Since Elvis Costello’s real appellation is Decian Patrick McManus, I guess I shoulda said that to him.

    BTW, I thought that he did a cover of that Chuck Berry song: “It Wasn’t Me”:

    “I met a German girl in England
    who went to school in France
    She said she danced with me in Mississippi
    at an Alpha Kappa dance.
    It wasn”t me….”

    But I can’t find via Goog.

  74. Mad Scientist:

    the likes of Duran Duran or the Go-Go’s?

    And just what’s wrong with Duran Duran and the Go-Go’s?

  75. The headline shoulda been…

    Don’t ask us to attend cos we’re not all there
    Don’t pretend cos I don’t care

    The “I hate everything” attitude of the second wave of Punk was totaly affected. The Ramones wanted to make hit pop records. McLaren wanted to use the Pistols to sell leather chaps.

    Kevin

  76. I think that my fave Pistols’ song now is “No Feelings”. And didja ever note how their fine drummer seems kinda exhausted in the vids? Almost as if the drums are playing him…

    I dunno why I dig the Pistols, the Ramones and other old school punk so much, while hard rock and Metal mostly just leave me cold…The exception is music done my son, who is in grad school and a very good hard rock band:

    http://www.myspace.com/burnitblackmusic

    I wasn’t into punk when it was first out in the mid-late 70s. I’d given up on contemporary music and mostly listened to 60’s oldies and classical music. Then New Wave, which I know in a big part was a morph outa punk, hit. Wow! The edge and the creativity of Blondie, Culture Club, Devo, the Heads, Missing persons, and the rest set in and really enthralled me. I think that New Wave is still my fave.

    So anyway, although I know a little about what characterizes old school punk, I can tell that most folks on this thread know a lot more about actually creating the music than I do. But still, when someone disparages the Sex Pistols as having no talent, I feel confidant, even (or perhaps especially) given the subjective nature of the matter, in telling em that that’s BS.

  77. Devo’s first album isn’t terribley synthy new wave. Its catchy rock.

    Anyways, AC/DC and The Stooges were doing the balls out rock and roll thing before the Ramones and Sex Pistols. And AC/DC and The Stooges rule.

    And no one gives respek to King Crimson. They are the greatest prog band of all time, and not to heard of.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.