THE SEX PISTOLS
BY JEFF BENCH
ISBN 1 -905287-05-4 (Â£12.99)
This was a neat little find detected by Punk Rockers eagle eyed Belfast
correspondent Joe Donnelly. Joe spotted this book in HMV and going for
the knockdown sale price of only £4.99 from its official pitch of £12.99.
Strange considering the books only just been released, but its worth
your time and energy to check out your local HMV before they realise
they've dropped a bollock! So if you do spot one snap it up fast coz it
features 160 pages of high quality shots of the band in action from their
late 70's hey day, through to their 1996 World tour. Although for the
main part, this book focuses on their 1976 era.
Rex Features in case you were wondering are Britain's leading
independent photo agency so have a massive source to plunder, and
they certainly come up with the goods here. What's so compulsive
about this set of shots of the most photographed punk band on the
planet is they feature a large array of rare unseen imagery that will
make this book a welcome addition even amongst the more renowned
Pistols photographic publications like 'Destroy' by Dennis Morris or
Bob Gruen's 'Chaos'. The accompanying text however is merely a
guide through the bands already well documented career and doesn't get in the way apart from wrongly crediting the
Leeds gig for Plymouth, but lets concentrate on those hidden images that make this book a more compelling artefact.
There's an early Damned shot of a youthful looking Bryan James and Dave
Vanian from their short lived 'Anarchy' tour stay, and one of the only non Pistols
band shots that appear. Another notable image of many, is of Jordan (Westwood's
sex shop assistant) and Adam And The Ants manager whose caught in a white
ballerina outfit looking suitably moody at the Cannes film festival celebrating
'Jubilee's' premiere, which she also starred in. These alongside some classic
chaotic live shots of the Pistols in action circa '76 set the tone. The most
eccentric of which was Johnny Rotten caught on stage at Leeds Poly strapped in
a black flasher mac that had its sleeves removed. You also get some unseen
shots of the band slogging away in the studio recording the 'Anarchy In The UK'
single. Once the Pistols had split in '78 we witness a world weary Johnny Rotten
marching home to mom in top hat and a truck full of prezzies for the family.
There's also a striking shot of the London Pavilion cinema in Piccadilly circus,
which premiered the release of the 'Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle' film in May 1980.
It comes proclaiming "the film that incriminates its audience", which it pretty much
well did! And on a final note Jah Rotten was proven right when he recently
compared Vivienne Westwood to Margaret Thatcher coz if it wasn't for her stack
heels and see through designer garb, the similarities between the two are
unnerving. Didn't really think we could use yet another book on the Sex Pistols,
but if they keep on digging up unseen shots of this calibre you just can't resist
PETER DON'T CARE
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