[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Turning punk and disorderly
By Chris Charles

Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols at the 100 Club

It is 30 years since punk first arrived, spitting and snarling its way on to the front pages of a disapproving press and changing the face of music forever.

On 30 March 1976, the Sex Pistols played the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street and over the next few days, BBC 6 Music is celebrating the anniversary with a series of programmes dedicated to the punk phenomenon.

Four of punk's original protagonists give their account of what it was like to be part of a movement that influenced everyone from Oasis to the Arctic Monkeys.


In the early days I can remember being so skint I only had Paxo stuffing to eat - but we persevered and ended up being the first band to support The Ramones in the UK.

A lot of the other London bands were a bit miffed by this and I started a fight with Paul from The Clash after the gig, because I thought he spat at me.

There was a face-off outside - us against the Pistols, The Clash and Chrissie Hynde. From then on the press were on their side and we were ostracised.

The Stranglers (Jean-Jacques Burnel far right)
The Stranglers on Top of the Pops

We also had accuastions of misogyny wrongly levelled at us because of the lyrics to Peaches. Misogyny means you hate women - I adore women! It was easy to shock people. You pressed the right buttons and it worked.

It was an exciting time - we were getting laid and getting noticed.

From the beginning of '76 I was aware of seeing more leather jackets and fewer flares. There was a divide between the old guard and the new young bucks. I felt a part of that.


I was going to see a lot of bands in 1976, like the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols. The attitude was 'anybody can have a go at this' - it gave you the confidence to start a band.

It was a fairly bleak time. My father was a miner and we went through a couple of strikes. There were also power cuts due to the three-day week, so punk was like a breath of fresh air.

It was a pretty male-dominated scene and for a girl to be up front like I was, being spat at and having stuff thrown at you really toughened you up. You couldn't afford to be girly-girly.

This was our time, we were young. We didn't realise we had anything to say until it all opened up for us. It made us look at the world in a different light.


Tenpole Tudor (Ed Tudor-Pole second from right)
Tenpole Tudor enjoyed a top 10 hit

I was only in the Pistols very briefly because Sid Vicious died three weeks after I joined.

After Johnny Rotten left there was a tiny advert in the NME for a new singer. I met Sid at the audition and he seemed a nice enough fella.

He was out of his head and got into a fight with one of the other lads auditioning, but 20 minutes later they were best mates. Sid told me he thought it was a good way to make friends with people by having a fight.

I recorded a couple of songs with the band including Who Killed Bambi - it was me and a 40-piece orchestra in the studio, so arguably on that record I was the Sex Pistols.

Punk was a revelation. Musically it was rebelling against all those dinosaur bands like Judas Priest and Yes, but nostalgia is so anti- the spirit of punk - today's what counts.


The mood in the country was restless. Everyone was fed up with the government interfering in their lives and they wanted a change.

Our first major gig was at the 100 Club festival in September 1976. The venue was rammed and I was aware something new and exciting was happening.

Unfortunately it turned ugly when Sid Vicious started throwing glasses from the side of the stage during the Damned's set.

One girl lost an eye and a bloke had 10 stitches in his head. I walked on stage and saw blood everywhere. I thought if this is people's idea of punk rock then they can shove it. Fortunately I stuck with it.

Sex Pistols snub US Hall of Fame
25 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Sex Pistols added to Walk of Fame
13 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
A brief history of punk
23 Dec 02 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific