Monday, July 25, 2022

the last book I ever read (Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol by Steve Jones, excerpt eight)

from Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol by Steve Jones:

I’m not trying to take the credit away from Glen for the original songwriting, but the reason he and I worked so well together was that he’d come up with something quite fiddly – the ‘fucking Beatle chords’ that drove John up the wall – and then I’d drive a bulldozer through it. You hear some complex chord progressions played exactly right and they go in one ear and out the other. Give ‘em to someone who’s not too bothered about sevenths and elevenths, and all of a sudden they work on a whole other level. Glen was so polite that if he’d played guitar on our record I don’t think anyone would’ve noticed them. Once I took over the chords he’d originally written, we ended up with something that was brutally direct but not simple-minded; an iron fist in a velvet glove.

There was definitely a feeling that we were leading the pack, but a few upstarts were already snapping at our heels. Mick Jones came down to Denmark Street around the time of the auditions for a second guitarist. At the time he was dressing like Johnny Thunders or some other glam guy with the long hair and the platforms. He played along with us and it was exciting because he actually knew what he was doing, to a certain extent. The next time we saw him he’d got his hair cut and he was wearing shirts with writing all over them.

It was the same with Joe Strummer. He was in a band called The 101ers that we opened up for the first time we played at the Nashville. They were like a pub-rock thing but with more of a Fifties style to them – they reminded me of the early days of Let It Rock. I think we made him feel a bit out of date, though, cos he was converted straight away, and the next thing we knew, him and Jones were in The Clash together with Bernie Rhodes managing them.

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