On this day in history : 6th November 1975 – The first public performance by The Sex Pistols – at St. Martin’s College of Art, London….

The gig was organised by the band’s bass guitarist, Glen Matlock, who was studying at the college…. They were supporting the headline act, Bazooka Joe – who loaned the Pistols the use of their equipment…. The Sex Pistols were to play just five songs – including covers of ‘I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’ by the Monkees, The Who’s ‘Substitute’ and ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It’ by the Small Faces…. They also performed their own song ‘Seventeen’…. After less than twenty minutes the plug was pulled on them…. There is some discrepancy as to who called time to the proceedings but it is thought that Bazooka Joe were less than happy at seeing their equipment being smashed up – the evening ended with a fist fight….

The Sex Pistols, 1977 – Photographer : Koen Suyk – Nationaal Archief, Nederlands CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

Three of the band’s members :- Steve Jones, guitarist – Paul Cook, Drummer and Glen Matlock, bassist – had formed a band in 1972 and had called themselves ‘The Strand’…. They took their inspiration from groups such as The Who and The Small Faces…. They were managed by Malcolm McLaren – an artist, fashion designer and boutique owner (SEX) – along with his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood…. McLaren had a vision – a way of creating a whole new sound and look…. John Lyndon (Johnny Rotten) joined the band as vocalist, the existing three had a new frontman and they became The Sex Pistols…. With their raw, unpolished loud music, the band were about to become one of the most influential groups in the history of popular music…. Although they only produced four singles and one studio album in their two and a half year career- they initiated Punk Rock….

Sex Pistols in Paradiso – Johnny Rotten – Photographer : Koen Suyk – Nationaal Archief, Nederlands CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

On the 8th of October 1976 The Sex Pistols signed with EMI; their debut single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ was released the following month…. On the 1st of December 1976 their foul mouths and attitude on a TV appearance earned them the label ‘Rotten Punks’…. On the 6th of January 1977 EMI dropped them…. Glen Matlock departed the band in February ’77 and Sid Vicious took his place…. In May of the same year the band released their single ‘God Save the Queen’ – surrounded by controversy it was promptly banned by the BBC…. On the 7th of June, during the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations the Pistols attempted to perform on a boat on the Thames – but were stopped by the police….

Whenever The Sex Pistols performed it invariably ended in mayhem…. It was often difficult for them to get gigs in the first place – as organisers were reluctant to deal with them…. The Sex Pistols performed their final concert on the 14th of January in San Francisco….

Sex Pistols, Norway 1977 – Photographer : Billedbladet NA / Arnes Nielsen via Riksarkivet (National Archives) on Flickr

So, on that rainy November night back in 1975 – when in front of an audience of apparently approximately just twenty….history was made…. As for Bazooka Joe – they never got far…. Although their bass guitarist, a guy named Stuart Goddard, went on to have some degree of success – when he changed his name to Adam Ant….

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