Saturday, October 27, 2007
The End Of The World From The Worlds End
London Weekend Show Interview - Filmed at Steve Jones Flat, 6 Denmark Street
Australian Radio Ad
Never Mind The Bollocks is 30 years old today.
It's an album that changed my life - you can read how here. I've added a few Sex Pistols stats and facts to the internet pile here. And have made the super rare NMTB demos only bootleg album Party Til You Puke available here( offline - apart from the 2 unreleased tracks) Rather than going over the Pistols story, I'm more interested in getting a snapshot of the time, and the perfect time traveling companion to take us back to that scene in seventies is Simone Stenfors.
Simone has impeccable punk credentials and a sizzling rock and roll CV. All the dates, details and info are on her websites
Simone is a dream to speak to and her conversation sparkles like a mirror ball with shiny stories and celebrity names - Sid Vicious, Joe Strummer, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible, Johnny Thunders, Shane McGowan and that's just the punk period (she's got a treasure chest of Mod, Glam, Post Punk, 80' and contemporary tales too).
So how did you become involved with the Punk scene?
I was married to Chris Carter from Throbbing Gristle, and when we split up I met Warren the drummer from Tiger Lily (later Ultravox). At one of their gigs at The Nashville they had a band supporting them called the Boys who dressed up as school boys they were one of the early Punk bands which was amazing, I'd heard about the Pistols and it was all very exciting
I had a friend who knew Joe Strummer and Rat Scabies and went to see The Damned playing at at the Hope and The Anchor which was weird as they were meant to be on the Anarchy tour*. At the end of the evening we met Rat and Captain who invited us to the Roundhouse the next day. We started hanging round together and it all kicked off from there.
*The Damned were asked to leave the Anarchy Tour after the first live date - the 6th of December - the the Hope and Anchor gig was on the 7th
Did you do any tours with band?
I didn't go on tour, but was with Rat for a few months and went to The Damned's and other gigs - The Roxy hadn't opened yet
How did you meet Nils? (Pistol's early Tour Manager and Banshees Manager)
I knew Ray stevenson (Pistols and Punk scene photographer) who would drop me off at my parents house, and Nils was helping at a Heartbreakers gig and we all went back to Nils's flat, we went to a party at Toyah's the next day and sort of fell in like that really. But that's just the way it happened in those days, and you'd see the same people all the time. It wasn't a big scene, you'd go to someone's house and always see the same people there - all the(now)legendary bands.
Nils must have been doing a lot of work with Mclaren being involved with trying to get films and record deals going?
I just remember Nils managing the Banshees more than anything, they didn't have a record deal then - he was 24. Older than anybody else, well Ray his brother was older but always sensible.
Did you hear ever the story that Sid (real name John) was meant suggested by Vivienne as the person to front the Pistols but Malcolm got the wrong John (Lydon) - which would have made a completely different band?
Not really, I don't remember that - I remember him from Flowers of Romance with Viv Albertine.
The Pistols must have been one of the most hated bands ever teen cults and even the music industry and the media hated them.The Music press really liked them, but it was really after the Bill Grundy thing people were so shocked, the media hated them, they got banned and couldn't play anywhere it exploded after that.
Which is bizarre as the whole thing was a last minute idea, they were a stand in for Queen (also on EMI)who couldn't make it.
I know it's just so strange and I don't get it, Bill Grundy being pissed and taking it that bit too far - it destroyed his career.
Did you have much to with Pistols crowd after this?I knew steve, Sid and Glen. but Steve and Paul used to hang out separately, and Rotten had his own entourage. I knew the girls Debbie (Juvenile), Tracey (O Keefe)and
Shanne Bradley whose a friend of Captains.
Isn't Shanne The girl that Johnny Rotten's meant to have written Satellite about.? Well that was just a teenage thing while she was at college - nothing serious. She went out with Captain while I was going out with rat.
And what tunes were big on the Punk scene or were people into at that time? Well I loved New Rose, The Clash - White Riot, Janie Jones, Blondie - X Offender. 'Bollocks' didn't come out until later and the albums that seemed to be constantly on everybody's record players were The Clash and The Damned's first album.
What do you think of the Sex Pistols reunion?
I think good for them! That three generations on people still love their music & good luck to them, I should imagine they are going to make a bomb out of this & who in their right minds would turn that down?
Simone has contibuted the stacks of magazines and books including two Sid Vicious biographies.
No One Is Innocent
Vicious: The Art of Dying Young
But the book I'm buzzing to read is the one Simone whose been described as 'A walking talking music encylopedia'could write. Which will be Packed full of sizzling Rock and Roll stories from the sixties to 21st Century. Check Simones website for sampler of her Rock n Roll credentials.
I asked Simone to choose a couple songs that were popular with pre Punk crowd or tracks that may have had some influence and shaped what became Punk. She came up with a great playlist of top tunes from Johnny Thunders, Velvets and Lou Reed but nailing it down to a two (and one extra) she came up with some inspired choices.
Alive cooper - I'm Eighteen
Hugely popular at the time and the song that Johnny rotten sang when auditioning for the pistols at Sex (using a shower head as a mic' apparently)
New York Dolls - Trash
Watch for Sylvain Sylvain's white Les Paul - When McLaren gave up managing the Doll's and came back to London - this guitar was given to Steve Jones and became his main axe - through out the Pistols period and used on NMTB you can see it pre pistols here .
New York Dolls - Chatterbox later covered by Sid Vicious on Sid Sings
Two Chatterbox vids are here and here
An extra special thank you to Simone Stenfors for being such a star and giving up an evening to talk to me and helping put to this feature together.