Sex Pistols Diary : 1977.

Jan.- Feb.- Mar.- April.- May.- June.- July.- Aug.- Sept.- Oct.- Nov.- Dec.-



4th January The band leaves for a five day tour of Holland and hits the headlines once again. According to the press, the lads "spat, vomited and swore" in the terminal building at Heathrow. Strange, as they were running so late, they bypassed the terminal - and were all the time accompanied by an EMI staff member. It all echoed a real situation that the New York Dolls had at Heathrow when Malcolm was with them. Seems he may just have re-packaged the same old story for the scandal hungry tabloids.
6th January EMI didn't like the press coverage of the Heathrow departure and decide to terminate the Pistols' contract. They also order all pressing plants to stop production of the "Anarchy" single and delete it immediately.
9th January Malcolm meets Derek Green, managing director of A&M Records to discuss signing the Pistols. He takes along a demo tape including 'Pretty Vacant', 'No Future', 'No Feelings', 'Submission' and three versions of 'Anarchy In The U.K.'
28th January While Malcolm's at MIDEM in Cannes, EMI Records agree a financial settlement that earns the band 30,000 on top of their advance of 20,000.


13th February Malcolm meets Jerry Moss of A&M in Los Angeles as well as some other American labels. Sid does a 'phone interview with a Los Angeles radio station where he mentions he was "auditioned" for the band the week before - even although Glen is still with the band.
28th February Glen Matlock leaves the band to be replaced by Sid. Malcolm sends a telegram to every music paper to let them know.


9th March The Sex Pistols sign to A&M records at the offices of Rondor Music.
10th March Malcolm re-stages the previous day's contract signing outside Buckingham Palace for the benefit of the media. It was followed by an uneventful press conference at the Regent Palace Hotel.
12th March The Sex Pistols get involved in a skirmish at London's Speakeasy Club. Unfortunately it involves Bob Harris, presenter of BBC-2's 'The Old Grey Whistle Test" and results in one of the show's engineers needing 14 stitches in his head.
16th March Bob Harris's solicitors send a heavy note to Derek Green at A&M. Harris's management also manage Peter Frampton, one of the top. acts at A&M. Green discusses the matter with the company's two founders Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert and the decision is made to cancel the Pistols contract and halt production of their first single, 'God Save The Queen".
28th March The Pistols get to play their first gig of 1977 in Leicester Square's Notre Dame Hall, owned by the Roman Catholic Church. The gig is staged for the cameras of NBC who are filming a documentary.
31st March The band needs a few days break, so they fly out to Berlin where they stay at the Hotel Kapinsky and hire a VW microbus to tour The Wall and other sites.


4th April Back from their break, the Sex Pistols play a showcase to 350 at the Screen On The Green. The Slits open for them and a 25 minute film, 'Number 1' is shown. The Pistols performance is itself filmed by Don Letts to be seen later in 'The Punk Rock Movie'.
5th April CBS Records call Malcolm to say they're no longer interested in signing the band. That leaves only Barclay in France and the hippy label, Virgin.


4th May LWT's 'The London Programme' suggest a connection between the Sex Pistols and the National Front. Malcolm uses the New Musical Express to answer the claim in full.
12th May Virgin Records announce they've signed the band.
13th May Sid is released from hospital following several weeks treatment for a bout of hepatitis. His only regular visitor is his girlfriend, Nancy Spungeon.
17th May Staff at Virgin's pressing plant refuse to make the pressing plates for the single. It takes several 'phone calls to get them to return to work.
18th May Today it's the turn of the sleeve artwork plate-makers to refuse to work. Again, several 'phone calls are needed to get work restarted.
19th May Thames Television refuses to air an advert for 'God Save The Queen' during a break in the 'Bill Grundy Show' moments before the show goes on air.
23rd May The Sex Pistols book the Marquee Club to film a live promo for the new single for use by 'Top Of The Pops'.
27th May After yet another protest at Virgin's pressing plant, 'God Save The Queen' is officially released in a celebratory pic sleeve and the hype of Virgin's biggest ad campaign ever.
28th May The 'Islington Gazette' snatch an exclusive interview with Johnny's mother - Eileen Lydon, or as the paper would have it - Mrs. Rotten! Young John isn't best pleased.
31st May The BBC ban the single saying it is, "in gross bad taste". The Independent Broadcasting Authority issues a warning to all radio stations that the single may be in breach of Section 4:1:A of the Broadcasting Act. Most stations even refuse the advert for the single.


7th June Virgin Records and The Sex Pistols decide to invite some chums to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee during an evening sail down the Thames in a boat called 'Queen Elizabeth'.

For the full story on the trip follow this link.

18th June Despite being unable to hear the single on daytime radio, 'God Save The Queen' reaches the number one slot. Meanwhile, during a break from their recording sessions: Johnny Rotten, Chris Thomas (producer) and Bill Price (studio boss) are attacked outside the Pegasus pub. Johnny has his arm slashed open and suffers tendon damage.
23rd June Another case of Pistol bashing, this time during a Pirate's gig at Dingwalls. Once again, it's Johnny that gets bashed suffering more damage to his wounded arm.


1st July Virgin Records release the new Sex Pistols single, 'Pretty Vacant' b/w 'No Fun'.
8th July Boots's stores lift their ban and agree to stock the new single. It's expected that Woolworth and W.H. Smith will follow. Malcolm is in the U.S. trying to set up a tour and get some interest in a film idea he has.
13th July Sid and Nancy get kicked out of their flat after some friends of Johnny's pop round to trash it. Sid misses the plane that the rest of the band catch to Scandinavia for a short tour. Malcolm's keeping the dates a secret - just in case.
14th July 'Top Of The Pops' plays the promo video for 'Pretty Vacant'.
16th July Capitol Radio broadcasts a 90 minute pre-recorded show called 'A Punk and His Music' during which Johnny plays some of his favourite tracks (The Cheiftains, Tim Buckley, Neil Young and Captain Beefheart among others).
21st July 'Top Of The Pops' plays the promo video for 'Pretty Vacant' again.


1st August The first Sex Pistols bootleg album, 'No Fun' hits the streets. It's taken from the Dave Goodman sessions recorded before the EMI single.
2nd August Sid flies back from Scandinavia, sticks a collar,tie and suit on and heads for Wells Street magistrates Court where he gets a 125 for carrying a knife at the 100 Club Punk Festival the previous September. He pays the fine and flies back to join the band.
19th August Wolverhampton's Lafayette Club plays host to S.P.O.T.S. (The Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly). It's the band's way of trying to circumvent the bans that exist all over the country.
24th August Well maybe S.P.O.T.S. wasn't that much of a secret, tonight it's Doncaster's Outlook Club and the name -' The Tax Exiles'.
25th August If you're scanning the papers for odd names, you'd miss the Scarborough gig tonight as the band were billed as 'Special Guest'.
26th August This time Middlesborough's Rock Garden under the name of 'Acne Ramble'.
31st August The place to be is Plymouth and the band to see are 'The Hamsters'.


1st September The Winter Gardens in Penzance plays host to "A Mystery Band Of International Repute". The crowd is smaller than at any other secret gig - maybe it was just too obvious!.
28th September The advertising campaign starts for 'Holidays In The Sun' the next single.


15th October 'Holidays In The Sun' is released.
20th October A law suit is filed against Virgin Records by the Belgian Travel Service. Seems the nice cartoon artwork on the new single's cover was 'borrowed' from a Belgian holiday brochure. 60,000 sleeves are removed from shops and warehouses but more than 5,000 have already been sold. Not content with ripping off the front cover artwork, Jamie Reid did it with the reverse of the sleeve as well. This time it's a 1960's French anarchist group - they don't bother raising an action.
28th October The Sex Pistols' debut album, 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is released. It follows hot on the heels of 'Spunk' another bootleg album that features the band's original demos that Malcolm took round all the companies.


1st November The Pistols' movie, 'Who Killed Bambi?' has already spent a million dollars and is still in pre-production. The financial backers pull out and director Russ Meyer returns to L.A. The sets at Bray studios are taken down and the world wonders what the proposed love scene between Johnny Rotten and Marianne Fiathfull would've been like.
5th November The manager of Virgin Records shop in Nottingham is arrested for displaying a large promo poster of the 'Bollocks' album cover in the window. Panic sets in after Police enforce an 1898 Indecent Advertising Act.
7th November High street stores ban sales of the album and independent shops are forced into selling it under the counter for fear of prosecution. A 40,000 advertisng campaign is wasted when no-one will accept any adverts for the record.
16th November A new financial backer is found for the Sex Pistols film. A major re-write of the script is under way and a new director is to be found. Marianne may still be featured.
24th November Christopher Seale, manager of Virgin's Nottingham shop is in court. Defending council, John Mortimer, brings in a Professor of English to explain the history and useage of the word 'bollocks'. The case is dismissed and the cover ruled to be 'decent'.
30th November Sid turns up for pre-arranged rehearsals for the three month world tour - but no-one else is there. He gets a bit depressed and very drunk, goes back to his hotel and decides to jump out the window. Nancy stops him, so he turns on her and soon the room is splattered with blood. They make up and go to bed but in the morning a chamber maid enters the room and reports what she sees. Police are called and raid the room, finding some suspicious substance. Sid and Nancy are taken to the police station but soon released. The other Pistols figure either Sid or Nancy has to go.


9th December Sid and Nancy break-up under pressure from the rest of the band.
25th December The Sex Pistols play an afternoon Christmas Party at Huddersfield's Ivanhoes Club for children of local firemen, laid-off workers and single-parents. 1,000 bottles of pop and a huge cake are supplied by Virgin who also lay on free busses. In the evening the Pistols play the same venue without the afternoon's restraint and good behaviour.
29th December The band have their U.S. entry visas refused due to all members having criminal records. Once satisfactory explanations for the convictions are received, visas will be issued.
30th December The visas are issued, now the Sex Pistols can rampage through America.


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