Say It's Your Birthday: The Sex Pistols Glenn Matlock

Today is the birthday of Glenn Matlock founding bassist for the Sex Pistols,

born on this day on 1956. Matlock was an original Sex Pistol but was let go

allegedly for liking the Beatles. He was considered by many to be the musical

architect and author of the band, but he did work closely with Pistol's

manager, Malcolm McLaren's at McLaren's Kings Road shop Sex. Both

guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook were regulars at the shop.

Vocalist John Lydon, who would later perform as Johnny Rotten, met the rest

of the group at Sex and was asked to join the band. They played raw

rock and roll abrasively and at high volumes, while Rotten sang arrogantly of

anarchy, abortion, violence, fascism and apathy. Without Rotten's lyrics the

band would have never been the threat to the British way of life. He provided

the threat and the confrontational swagger. The publicity caused by the

release of their first single, and the subsequent hijinks on the BBC caused

the band to be dropped by their record label, EMI. Matlock was fired before

their next single "God Save The Queen" was released on Virgin (and banned by

the BBC). Matlock's replacement was Sid Vicious, hired because he 'looked

right," not because of is talent--he couldn't even play the bass. After

releasing one album in 1977, the seminal Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's

The Sex Pistols and a US tour that lasted only fourteen days, Johnny

Rotten left the stage at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on January 14,

never to return. Rotten went to NYC to form Public Image Limited later that

year. McLaren tried to continue the band, but Cook and Jones soon turned

against him. Cook auditioned to play in the Ramones, and everyone knows the

Greek Tragedy of Sid Viscous' life. Without the Sex Pistols, popular music

would never had taken such a sharp left turn.

It is also the birthday of Alex Lifeson (Rush), Willy DeVille (Mink Deville),

and B.J. Thomas.