Stuart Jones Memoirs & Reviews

Archive November 2005

1977: continued from our October issue:
In Brighton, if you wanted a copy of the Sex Pistols seminal first album, Never Mind The Bollocks, there was no point in going to WH Smith, Woolworths or Boots. They imposed a ban on sales of the record following the group’s behaviour on Bill Grundy’s TV show. A string of obscenities on prime time TV caused such a furoré that questions were asked in the House. A Boots spokesperson put it bluntly “...we, as retailers, have the right to decide what we sell. We took objection to the title and content of the album and decided not to stock it.”

Of course bans like these merely played into the hands of shrewd operators like Malcolm Maclaren, the Pistols’ manager. In rock music, there’s no such thing as bad publicity and it wasn’t very long before mainstream record companies were queueing up to sign his band. The Pistols are reported to have received £50,000 from A&M immediately prior to the company dropping them as an act, due to all the hostility their antics on the Grundy TV show generated. Money for nothing.

With record companies not really knowing what was happening as regards talent anymore, there were a few music business people around who wanted to check out the Brighton scene. An audition was set up behind closed doors at a vast and eerily empty Top Rank Suite, and a bunch of local bands were invited along.

Flesh played a woefully bad set. Wrist Action struggled to cope with no audience. Nicky & the Dots were energetic as usual but no more than average. Even the Piranhas made no impression at all. Instead, a band called Joe Cool & the Killers were given a recording contract. They recorded and released a single which totally bombed and were never heard of again, not least in Brighton. So much for the talent scouts. More

Click here for Joe Cool & the Killers

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