Bah,Humbug to you all...........If Mr Rotten here had a time machine, My perfect Christmas would have been either re-living 2008, or going even further back to a happening on Christmas day 1977, at the now defunct Ivanhoe's Nightclub in Huddersfield, UK....... the scene of the final two UK performances of the Sex Pistols....and what an event these were!
Banned from playing in the UK under their own name, Malcolm McLaren pulled one master stroke, by arranging a free Party for the Firemen of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, who were striking to force up their pay conditions of the time.
Two shows on the day were arranged, the unassuming Ivanhoe's was chosen as the venue. First would be a matinee performance for the Fireman's children. Footage shot by Julien Temple shows this to have been a perfect day. Hundreds of children were given free merchandise, Copies of "Never Mind The Bollocks", posters, t-shirts, stickers, badges, Johnny Rotten handed out cake, Sid Vicious danced with the kids to the sound system, (Which left Nancy more than a little jealous with her Sid's Attention being taken from her), then the Pistols took the stage.........During BODIES, Johnny dived off the stage and went head first into the cake, allowing the kids to cover him in the remnants of it.
After the show, the hall was cleaned up, and the evening show could begin. Johnny now sporting a t-shirt with the slogan "NEVER MIND THE RICH KIDS,Here's The Sex Pistols", a side swipe at former bassist Glen Matlock's band of the time.
The evening show began with Sid taking lead vocal and Bass on Johnny Thunders' "BORN TO LOOSE" and "CHINESE ROCKS" (later issued on the Sid Sings album), and after Steve Jones' call for more beer, the band were Into GOD SAVE THE QUEEN, one strange quote on the night was Johnny asking for "Some fanny after the gig" telling you how drunk he was! To which Steve Jones added "who wants to suck my knob!"
The Set that followed included all the classic songs, Including the newly penned "BELSEN WAS A GAS", and the last single release,"HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN." By all accounts, Sid had behaved himself that day, people were however being taken out of the show, due to so many people being in there, to much alcohol,and the sheer heat in the room. John still quipped "Any Requests? How about Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport? ...Well we ain't gonna play it"......... 16 songs and one final blast of "God Save The Queen" and the boys were gone. A few days later (when they had sobered up), they flew to America for their first date on US soil Atlanta, Georgia, and the rest is history.
Exactly 12 months on from this show, John Lydon launched PUBLIC IMAGE LTD at Finsbury Park's Rainbow Theatre, but the 1977show he gave with the Pistols remain the legend. - I wasn't there, but I damn sure wish I had been.
As a Postscript, only the frontage of Ivanhoe's Club remains, it is now a Supermarket.
GOD SAVE THE SEX PISTOLS, and Have a ROTTEN Xmas!!