Punk History [15/5/80]

Image courtesy of Walmart. Who knew they were punk af.

On this day the film “The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle” was released in The UK. The film is billed as a “documentary” on the creation of The Sex Pistols by their manager Malcolm McLaren. I have the soundtrack album and some singles but I have never watched the whole movie through. The movie came out over a year after the music was released. By then The Sex Pistols had long been broken up and Sid Vicious had died 15 months earlier prior to the release of movie. The reason why the soundtrack proceeded the movie was because French copies started to make their way into the UK from Barclay Records who held licensing for Sex Pistols material. Virgin UK rushed to press their copies as to not lose out on sales.

John Lydon (Johnny Rotten – ex lead singer) wanted nothing to do with the movie. The only songs he appears on are from studio outtakes. Ronnie Biggs of “The Great Train Robbery” fame appears on a couple of the songs. The best for me personally is Edward Tudor-Pole. He is on three of the soundtrack songs. One of my favorites is “Who Killed Bambi”.

He had a couple of good albums and singles in the early 80’s with his band Tenpole Tudor.

A Sex Pistols aside. I was going to see Glen Matlock (original Sex Pistols bassist) this spring but Covid hit. I was hoping to have a fanboy encounter and get his autograph on some singles. After The Sex Pistols he was in a band called Rich Kids with Midge Ure. Ure would later replace John Foxx as lead singer for the band Ultravox. I got to see Ure some years ago and was able to talk to him after the show. He signed two Rich Kids singles and also was kind enough for some picture taking. I was hoping to get Matlock to sign as well. I will try to get them signed if live shows ever become a thing again.



  1. Kind of a fun movie if you didn’t take it seriously. McLaren comes off as such an asshole. The footage of “No Fun” from their last concert is kind of poignant. I’d post it if I weren’t at work. You can actually see the moment the band broke. “The Filth and the Fury” is a much better film from the documentary perspective. At some point I was thinking about a post on Lydon’s book. It is worth reading.

    P.S. I’ll bet you can find TGRRS movie on YouTube. It’s been there before.

  2. I’ve never made it all the way through that movie in one sitting, either. And I grew up listening to that stuff. The Rich Kids were such a great band. One of the best of the post-punk powerpop groups.

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