Sex Pistols
(1975-1978)

c. 3

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years, they are regarded as one of the most groundbreaking acts in the history of popular music. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Their fashion and hairstyles have been credited as a significant influence on punk image, and they are often associated with anarchism within music. The Sex Pistols originally comprised vocalist John Lydon (known at the time by his stage name "Johnny Rotten"), guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. Under the management of Malcolm McLaren, the band attracted controversies that both captivated and appalled Britain. Through an obscenity-laced television interview in December 1976 and their May 1977 single "God Save the Queen", attacking Britons' social conformity and deference to the Crown, they precipitated the punk rock movement. It was banned not only by the BBC but also by nearly every independent radio station, making it the "most heavily censored record in British history". The band's only album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)—a UK number one album—is a staple record of punk rock. In January 1978, at the end of their over-hyped and turbulent tour of the United States, Rotten announced the band's break-up. Over the next few months, the three remaining band members recorded songs for McLaren's film version of the Sex Pistols' story, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979, following his arrest for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for a highly successful concert tour in 1996. Further one-off performances and short tours followed over the next decade. The Sex Pistols have been recognised as an influence on various genres, including grunge, indie, thrash metal and hip hop. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed them No. 58 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols—the four original members plus Vicious—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum "a piss stain".

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Eifion on Flickr
sleepymyf on Flickr
Simon Harriyott on Flickr

The Sex Pistols played their penultimate British gig to a capacity crowd of fans and police at the Links Pavilion that stood near this site, Christmas Eve 1977

(site of the old) Cromer Links Pavilion, Cromer, United Kingdom where it played their penultimate British gig

West Runton Pavilion hosted concerts by legendary pop, rock and punk artists from Chuck Berry, T-Rex and Black Sabbath to the Sex Pistols and the Clash, before its demolition in 1986

Water Lane, West Runton, Cromer, United Kingdom where it played

First gig Sex Pistols November 6th 1975 'Unplugged'

Central St Martin's College, 107-111 Charing Cross Road, London, United Kingdom where it played their first gig