Sex Pistols: Punk On Trial In 1977

It’s Punk v The Establishment, as John Lydon, Gaye Advert, J.J. Burnel and fellow combatants remember the fights and frights in the new MOJO magazine.

Sex Pistols in 1977

SUMMER 1977 WAS PUNK’S High Noon, with powerful forces set to scupper the Sex Pistols and their rebel cohort by fair means or foul. Out of that ordeal came one of the most extraordinary albums of all time – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols – and a landmark court case that tested the right of art to challenge decreed propriety.

The cover of MOJO 286
MOJO 286: Pistols, Allmans, Bolan, Randy Newman and Co.

In the latest issue of MOJO magazine, on the shelves in the UK from Tuesday, July 25, John Lydon, Gaye Advert, Chris Thomas, J.J. Burnel and more relive the creativity and conflict, risks and rewards of a brutal year.

“We were lucky to get what we did on to tape,” Lydon tells MOJO’s Pat Gilbert. But get something on tape they certainly did, and not everyone was best pleased, including Nottingham PC Julie Storey, who asked Virgin record store manager Chris Seale to remove a display for said album and sparked a landmark free speech court case.

Menwhile the Pistols had been the targets of street violence – recalled in unprecedented, harrowing detail in the new MOJO – which had driven Lydon underground and had the group’s associates fearing for their corporeal integrity.

“Suddenly there was this ‘Oi!’” Bollocks producer Thomas tells MOJO. “We turned round and there were about 11 blokes, it looked like a football team. They attacked us, some had blades, which they were passing around, so they could all have a little dig. I had a knife cut all the way down the back of my shirt.”

“Eleven blokes attacked us. Some had blades, which they were passing around, so they could all have a little dig.”

Chris Thomas

When Thomas returned to sessions for Wings Over The World, which he was juggling with work on Bollocks, he found Wings boss Paul McCartney understandably concerned…

“I walked into the studio and Paul said, ‘Hey, I thought you’d been injured in the attack on the Sex Pistols?’ I said, ‘No, Paul, that happened at the weekend. I didn’t want to mention it…’”

And staying in the key of punk, this month MOJO’s FREE CD is I Just Can’t Be Happy Today, a 15-track onslaught of punk rock scorchers, featuring The Damned, Vibrators, Adverts, Television Personalities and more.

Also in the latest MOJO magazine: the rise & fall of The Allman Brothers; the last days of Marc Bolan; the wit and wisdom of Randy Newman; Alice Cooper’s personality crisis; the legend of Bright Phoebus. Plus: inside the Morrissey biopic; Steve Winwood goes EDM (WTF?); Can are born; Anita Pallenberg passes on; new albums by Queens Of The Stone Age, Arcade Fire, The War On Drugs, The Fall, Steven Wilson and many many more.

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