Feb 25, 2006

True To Form: Sex Pistols Tell Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame To Stick It


(New York) Despite a coveted induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, punk band the Sex Pistols refused to participate in the ceremonies.

They did so in characteristically punk fashion, as well; the band posted a handwritten, crudely-worded decline to the invitation on their website, The Filth and the Fury.

"Next to the SEX PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain," the statement reads. "Your museum. Urine in wine. Were [sic] not coming. Were [sic] not your monkey and so what?"

The ceremonies are to be held March 13 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The band lashed out at the fact that main floor tables are selling for $25,000 apiece, while "to sqeak up in the gallery" requires the payment of $15,000.

The Sex Pistols were one of the most influential of English punk bands, despite the fact that they released only two studio albums. The band achieved recognition through iconoclastic punk songs like "God Save The Queen," and no other band - punk or otherwise - of the era made such a lasting impression on British pop culture.

Some might view the band's response to the invitation a predictable act of faux defiance from the band to strengthen their punk credibility, but I find that the rhetorical condemnation of the excesses of the music industry to be heartening.

From the Sex Pistols song "The Great Rock and Roll Swindle" (1977):

E.M.I. said you're out of hand
And they gave us the boot
But they couldn't sack us, just like that
Without giving us the loot

Thank you kindly A & M
They said we were out of bounds
But that ain't bad for two weeks work
And 75,000 pounds

The time is right to do it now
The greatest rock'n'roll swindle
The time is right to do it now


Anonymous said...

One of the truly great punk bands. I am glad they stood up against corporate rock.

-- Petrograde

Anonymous said...

The Sex Pistols only released one proper studio album but regardless, I applaud them for this move. They still know how to cause a comotion.

The ceremony should be in Cleveland anyway!

Lisa Renee said...

Yet, other groups that have issues with the way it's done still have class...It sounds like the Sex Pistols issue is the table cost.

During his induction speech, guitarist Mick Jones said he was accepting the award on behalf of all the garage bands out there that might never have thought a moment like this would be possible. Paul Simonon, former Clash bassist and now a successful painter, told Rolling Stone that he had no intention of going to the Hall of Fame. "But when Joe died," he was quoted as saying, "I thought we should all go together, for his family, for all of us." These are all honorable, valid reasons that shouldn't be scrutinized. As far as I'm concerned, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is neither valid nor important but the reason I had decided to go and cover it was because I have a lot of respect for The Clash and wanted to document what might be the remaining members' final moment in the spotlight together. After speaking to Chimes that morning, I'd have felt like a rat wearing that shirt on a night when he and his ex-bandmates deserved to feel only honored and appreciated. In his induction speech, Terry Chimes paid tribute to Topper Headon, the Clash's other drummer who did not come to New York for the induction ceremony even though he was being inducted as part of the group. It was a very classy gesture.

Punk Magazine 2003

historymike said...

I admit that I loved the Clash tribute, too.

I especially liked the "London Calling" rendition featuring the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello.

Lisa Renee said...

There have been others who have refused to attend, some because of the price as well as their disagreement with the way people are selected. Considering some of the statements the Sex Pistols have made like calling it the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame? At least they are true to their feelings about it.


ps...I like the Clash too