Continuing saga of the
Pistols v. Establishment


Sounds. June 18, 1977.


THE SEX PISTOLS continued to face hassles from the Establishment when a Jubilee boat trip they had organised last Tuesday was brought to a premature close after the police moved in.

Ten people, including the Pistols' manager, Malcolm MacLaren, were arrested and charged with various offences including obstructing the police, unlawful obstruction, threatening behaviour, being drunk and disorderly, using insulting words and assault.

All ten people pleaded not guilty at Bow Street magistrates court and were remanded on bail.

Around 200 people had been on the boat, called 'Queen Elizabeth', and the Sex Pistols played a set, which was halted when the power supply was cut off. The boat was 'buzzed' by police boats and returned to the shore. The arrests occured when the police tried to move the voyagers off the boat.

For a report on the Jubilee boat trip see page nine.

Meanwhile, the Pistols' single, 'God Save The Queen' climbed to number two in the singles charts, despite being banned by all BBC and independent television and radio stations.

There is little doubt that it was the fastest selling single last week but the fact that several of the 'chart return' shops had banned the single kept it from the number one spot.

Virgin Records said this week that the single was maintaining its sales figures. A spokesperson said: "If it does get to number one then it will prove the much-vaunted power of radio and television is negligeable if the public interest is already there."

And London is now virtually a closed city for the Pistols as far as live gigs are concerned. A planned concert at the Rainbow Theatre had to be abandoned after the theatre's own insurance company refused to cover the concert and the GLC raised objections.

And even outside the capital the situation is much the same. Malcolm MacLaren told SOUNDS this week that "it is impossible for us to put a structured tour together at the moment."

However MacLaren was hopeful that something would be sorted out and there is still a possibility of an outdoor punk festival featuring the Pistols in the West Country.

And this week came news that a group of MPs, including Marcus Lipton, Labour MP for Lambeth Central and Neville Trotter, Tory member for Tynmouth, are trying to get the Pistols' single banned.

They were joined by DJ Tony Blackburn who said of the record: "It is disgraceful and makes me ashamed of the pop world but it won't last."

A spokesperson for Virgin replied: "It is remarkable that MPs should have nothing better to do than get agitated about records which were never intended for their Ming vase sensibilities.

"As for Tony Blackburn he makes us all ashamed. But he is a fad that won't last." In fact, the record was broadcast last saturday on Radio London by Charlie Gillet on his Honky Tonk programme - no-one complained.


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