When I was still my last year at Junior School I became friends with a classmate. We’d hang out after school and generally just mess around – his name was Steve but everyone called him Sid. It turned out he was called Sid because he had some Sex Pistols records – no other reason.
One early evening we were playing some records and I found amongst the collection Something Else by the Sex Pistols. The cover just drew me in. I knew nothing really about the band. I had heard of them – but never heard them or seen any real imagery.
Politically incorrect – but undeniably dangerous looking we put the record on. It didn’t actually sound as mad as I’d expected – a cover version. The real excitement was to come when we played the B-Side Friggin’ In The Riggin. I’d never heard a band swear so much – this was electric. Another cover version – but I wasn’t to know that (I was 10 years old). Steve (Sid) said “you can have it, I’ve got the album, it’s on that too). I was dumbstruck. We remained best friends until we went to different Senior School’s – this was only months – but as a youngster felt much longer.
I loaned out the 7 Inch Single to countless mates. It gained infinite kudos and was back then very exciting on many levels. Kids who’d actually seen The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle (I hadn’t) told ridiculous tales that Sid Vicious really shot the crowd – as a kid you just wanted to believe this – but knew I couldn’t have been true.
I’ve refrained from writing about the Sex Pistols and The Damned on this blog. I’ve been holding off on them – but they are two of the most shaping, exciting bands I have ever heard. More so then than now – but still great bands.
Of course, with hindsight The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle is really just a cash cow collection – a gimmick – but it still works somehow. The real (only) solid material is Never Mind The Bollocks I’ll give that a write up soon.
For no other reason than the excitement as a kid this record gave me I still regard it as a killer 7 Inch record. It’s wrong on so many levels – but it’s oh so right too…