Sex Pistols and Censorship
Punks have always been known for pushing the envelope, but the Sex Pistols pushed it farther than anyone to date in the genre of punk music. The Sex Pistols boisterous lyrics and edgy appearance led for them to be heavily censored by the radio and print media and even banned in many places, Britain and abroad.
They were like nothing seen or heard before. Their torn clothes and spiked hair sent a visual message that they did not care what others thought. The band was actually put together by Malcolm McLaren, who used the band as an advertisement for his fetish clothing store. Their chains, tight leather, and torn clothes have since been associated with punk.
The Sex Pistols’ first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.” released in 1976, went to #38 on the Billboard charts in the U.K., but even though it was successful, their record label E.M.I. dropped them soon after they hit the charts. The song, which begins: “I am an anti-Christ, I am an anarchist,” was censored by all of British radio, partly because of the lyrics, but mainly because the band’s image and behavior.
Their behavior was first seen by the masses in an interview on the “Today” show in London on December 1, 1976. Guitar player Steve Jones was quotes as saying, “you dirty bastard ... You dirty f***er ... What a f***ing rotter” on live national television. They were soon banned from the show.
While their antics gained them instant fame and popularity among many of Britain’s youth, who were searching for a voice, many adults became irritated by the band. The public backlash from that interview caused promoters to cancel 16 of the band’s 19 tour dates amid newspaper headlines of “The Filth and the Fury” and “Never Mind the Morals or Standards, the Only Notes That Matter Come in Wads.” Even Steve Jones’ own mother bans him from their house.
Without an album the band schedules a European tour, where they gain more popularity due to their unruly behavior such as fighting with their audience, spitting on their audience, and vomiting on their audience. The band has to tour under various names such as S.P.O.T.S. (The Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly), because they are banned by many national governments. Their performances were crazy and lengendary. Bassist Sid Vicious helped the band gain notoriety with his insane performances. "One night nobody was payin' any attention to me, so I thought I'd commit suicide," Vicious said. "So I went in the bathroom broke a glass and slashed my chest with it. It's a really good way to get...