Dave Goodman
The Greatest Rock n Roll Swindler
by Rotten
Over my many years as a Sex Pistols fanatic, many stories of people involved in their inner circle have come to the fore, and one of the most interesting is that of Dave Goodman,
producer of the famous Denmark Street 1976 and Goosebury Studios 1977 demo tracks.
A man who also ran many a good con in the Pistols name during the Eighties,
which may not be familiar to many of you out there.
Dave was born on 29th March 1951, and throughout the early Seventies played bass in a few
pub rock / blues based bands. Having his own P.A. system and knowing a little of sound engineering, he started working for the Albion booking agency, hiring himself as a sound man
with bands at pubs and clubs.
His first encounter with The Pistols was at the famous Nashville Rooms show, when the band supported Joe Strummer's 101ers, he did their sound on the night, and was approached by Malcolm McLaren to continue working with the band. This led to him recording the band at their Denmark Street headquarters between 13th and 30th July 1976. These demo tracks helped the band secure the EMI Records deal. After an Abortive attempt at producing "Anarchy In The UK" as a single, the next session he did with the band was in January 1977 at Goosebury Studios. Again, these tracks secured the A+M deal for the band, his 1976 "No Feelings" was due to be the b-side of the "God Save The Queen" single.....some copies of this were even pressed before the band were dropped from the label after one week, and are now extremely rare collectors items,
changing hands for a small fortune.
As The Sex Pistols seminal album "Never Mind The Bollocks" album was being prepaired by
Virgin Records for release, the first Swindle was being set in motion.
Dave and McLaren masterminded the huge selling bootleg album "SPUNK," using the demos Dave had produced in '76 / '77, many questioned where it came from, but one look at the LPs run out groove showed it was pressed at Virgin's own pressing plant, Lyntone, and as the material had come from a master source it wasn't hard to work out who was behind it. In a radio interview
on the subject, Sid Vicious even threatened to "go round and nick his television".
After helping to produce the "Great Rock N Roll Swindle" album in 1978, Dave Goodman then released the single "Justifiable Homicide," under the name Dave Goodman and Friends. The track dealt with the story of black boxing trainer Liddle Towers, who was arrested and beaten to death by the police in an unprovoked racist attack. Early copies state that Cook and Jones of the Pistols play on the single, while others leave the drums and bass section of the line up blank.
There is no proof the guys played on the single.
It was 1979 when the real Swindles began, with Dave forming a band of session musicians, calling them the Ex Pistols. Issuing a single on Virgina Records, a synth-swamped version of Sir Edmund Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory." This led to many believing it was a real Pistols outtake due to its sound-a-like appearance. The release saw Dave in legal trouble with the songs publishers
Boozey and Hawkes, as copyright licenses were not sought.
During the Eighties, Goodman masterminded many grab bag releases of Sex Pistols material, using his demos, live tracks, interviews and even some Ex Pistols tracks thrown in, re-mixing his '70's demo sessions so many times and re-selling them for more cash.
In 1988, he worked with former Pistol Glen Matlock, whose band CBI Goodman was producing. Getting Matlock drunk one evening, Goodman decided to get him to play bass on some ex-Pistols tracks for a new album. Released as "The Swindle Continues" in Japan, one track was even a recording of the Pistols version of the Small Faces song "UNDERSTANDING" - re-written as "Judging Minds," (the real Pistols only having performed it live early on). The album also included some Cook and Jones tracks, namely "Black Leather," "Here We Go Again," and Paul Cook's
"Silly Thing." The ex-Pistols tracks are actually well written and performed, and the only downfall was the 'closeness' of the Johnny Rotten sound-a-like vocals, performed by Dave Slave.
It was 1992 before the band re-surfaced, sometimes re-named as the SEXLESS PISTOLS, with an album of re-recorded "Swindle Continues" tracks called "DENY" on Dave's own Mandala label. The whole set is linked by spoken word, based around New Age Radio, another Goodman project. Owning to an injunction against Dave by John Lydon, the album was not marketed, and was given away to Sex Pistols fans, and also left in Virgin Megastores with a sticker telling the consumer the album was FREE to anyone who picked it up. The sleeve image looked a lot like John Lydon, but was in fact Goodman's friend and current Buzzcocks bassist Tony Barber.
After making a music video to the track "Don't Fear You Life Will Come To An End (Only Fear It Wont Begin)," Dave started work on his last album, "Diary of a Good Man," which featured the track "Wedding Da"y - the music being the familliarly re-mixed Sex Pistols 1976 demo of
"Anarchy In The UK," with terrible lyrics about George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
Dave Goodman died of a heart attack at his home in Malta on 10th February 2005, and shortly
after the remaining pressings of Diary....were sold via his website. as was a leaked, unfinished project he was working on, the DVD, "Sex Pistols - The Long Lost Videos," which saw
run-of-the-mill Pistols footage with his demos from the "Spunk" album overlayed.
It also features the re-mixed "Anarchy In The UK" with the correct lyrics, performed
by the singer of the "Wedding Day" track, and not by John Lydon.
A DVD has since been released, entitled "CHAOS!" - the Ex Pistols secret History. This is actually another re-telling of the Sex Pistols story, using ex-Pistols name and music because of legal issues.
At the time of his passing, Dave was also working on another remix of the Spunk demos,
entitled "X=SPUNK," but this was never released.
Both Ex- and Sexless Pistols albums should be checked out, but any Sex Pistols' releases on CD these days bearing the "Produced by Dave Goodman" or "Live In the North of England" legends should be avoided.........if you are a fan, you have the material contained within.
Don't be Conned.......because The Swindle Continues!

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