Down Under With The Sex Pistols

Our man in New Zealand offers another view of the Pistols reunion.

The Sex Pistols have managed to drag their filthy lucre

loving carcasses to the Southern Hemisphere to rid those of us in New Zealand

and Australia of any spare change we may have. The show here in Auckland was

almost canceled as soon as it was announced. It seems that back in those wild

and woolly days we love to call the 70's, Mr. Rotten & Co. were banned from New

Zealand. When they applied for visas this time around, surprise, surprise, no

one had ever lifted the ban. After a few anxious days, it was decided that the

Sex Pistols couldn't be any more harmful to the general population than most of

the politicians running for election here in the land of the Kiwi, so tickets

went back on sale.

Back in 1976 I was into the whole punk/new wave thing,

from the New York perspective. First it was Television's "Little Johnny Jewel,"

then Patti Smith, the Ramones and the Heartbreakers, I was hooked. Suddenly the

focus shifted from New York to London. The Sex Pistols were all the rage, each

new single a revelation. Back in upstate New York, I wasn't sure why they were

so angry, but I sure liked the way they sounded. So now it's Saturday night

(Oct. 5) and I'm off to the dreaded Supertop to see a band that self-destructed

almost 20 years ago. To make things even stranger, I have my 16-year-old

daughter in tow.

For some reason the show has an early start time. Maybe

the promoters figured musicians over 40 would have a hard time staying awake

after 10 P.M., who knows. Word has it ticket sales have been slow, and when the

Auckland-based Muckhole kick things off at 7 o'clock, the crowd is pretty

sparse. Muckhole give us a half hour of California-inspired skateboard punk and

then leave us alone. The crowd has grown a bit, with L. A.'s Goldfinger due

next. The audience is leaning toward the younger side with a few original punks

sprinkled throughout. One forty-ish couple is holding on to each other for dear

life. It looks like they've taken some 20 year old drugs to celebrate the

Pistols' reunion and are now having problems standing up on their own. I'm

amazed that there hasn't been any change in the basic punk garb over the years.

Same green mohawks, same black jackets, same safety pins, same slogans, just a

bit more body piercing than in years past...

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