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Sex Pistols: The Graphic Novel
Written by Jim McCarthy
Illustrated by Steve Parkhouse
Published by Omnibus Press (2008)

Review by Cardinal Cox


Write Dope on Pnuk part 86

Try as you might, you can’t ignore the existence of the Sex Pistols. No, they didn’t invent punk. No, they weren’t the first British punk band to be signed, release a record, or self-destruct. And if you’ve ever heard The Damned rant (light-heartedly) they weren’t a “proper” band (in that they’d grown and formed themselves) but as much a product of their manager as The Monkees or so many other “boy-bands”. But like the proverbial pachyderm in the parlour, we might not want to talk about them but you can’t ignore them.

This wonderful book covers the entire career of the seminal band from their grottiest beginnings in the McLaren and Westwood’s shop, through terrible gigs that kicked everyone up the arse, record deals designed to separate the executives from their money to the final Fireman’s benefit gig (an ex-girlfriend claimed she was there as a small child) and the terminal tour of America. We also get brief glimpses of John Lydon’s background as the child of economic migrants from Ireland and the prejudice that they faced. The fall-out in the forms of Sid’s death in America with the threat of a murder trial hanging over him, McLaren’s desperate wringing of more money to complete Rock and Roll Swindle, and John’s forming of PiL are also covered.

Half the old punks I know seem to have some story or other about meeting the Pistols, while the kids have a plethora of CDs harvested from demos, out-takes, bootlegs and other sub-standard products. It should be no surprise that my local Pistols tribute band (if that’s not a sign of something, and I don’t know what it might be a sign of what, I don’t know) is called Filthy Lucre. Though I’ll admit they are good at what they do.

Give this book as a Christmas present to small nephews and nieces that you want to warp, and then borrow it back.


© All work copyright of Cardinal Cox.

Kiss This -Best of- Sex Pistols
Kiss This -Best of-
Sex Pistols

Toad illustration

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