On this day (November 6) in 1975 , the Sex Pistols took the stage for the first time at St. Martins College.
Not as well-known as their Manchester gig, which many people claim was the first, it was short-lived due to someone pulling the plug on their set. Nevertheless it was the first showing of the band.
The Sex Pistols formed in London England earlier in 1975 and at the time consisted of Johnny Rotten (vocals), Steve Jones (guitar), Glen Matlock (bass), and Paul Cook (drums). It wasn’t until 1976, that the band began to play bigger venues, ditching the colleges and universities. It was on June 4th of 1976, that they played Lesser Tree Trade Hall in Manchester and bought a punk rock boom to the city and to the U.K.
Other newly formed punk bands, such as The Clash and The Damned made their debuts, opening for the Pistols that year and in September of 1976 the band performed for the first time outside of the U.K. at Club De Chalet De Luc in Paris. A year later they released their first single Anarchy in the U.K. after signing with the record label EMI.
Their relationship with EMI Records was short-lived, due to their crude and unpredictable behavior, which brought them as much attention as their music.
In January of 1977 the record label dropped them during a series of concerts at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. It was after the Paradiso gigs that Glen Murdock left the band, due to his deteriorating relationship with Johnny Rotten and was replaced with Simon John Ritchie, better known as Sid Vicious. Vicious was a fan of the band and was hired on his looks and attitude alone, not his musical ability, which was very limited. In fact, Vicious was so bad at playing the Bass, that the amp was turned down during live performances and bass parts on studio recordings were laid down by the other members of the band.
Sid’s debut with the band was April 3, 1977 at the Screen on The Green in London.
The Pistols behaviour made it hard to keep a record deal and in March of 1977, they signed with A&M records, only to be dropped 6 days later. In May of 1977, they signed with Virgin records, their third and final deal. It was with Virgin, that they released God Save The Queen later that month.
In October of 1977, the Pistols released Never Mind The Bollocks, the album has went on to be hailed as one of the most influential recordings of the Punk genre.
In January of 1978, the band embarked on their first ever U.S. tour, mainly in the south, which including a stop in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They played at the legendary Cains Ballroom.
But drugs and Sid’s increasingly bad behavior and illness was more than Johnny Rotten could take and on the 17th of January he announced his departure from the band, effectively drawing an end to the band.
With only two and a half years together, 4 singles, and one studio album The Sex Pistols brought a movement to the U.K. which inspired many of the punk bands that were to come and cemented their title as Punk Royalty.