"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> YOUNG FLESH REQUIRED
by Alan G Parker with Mick O' Shea
Well, another one to add to the collection, another re- telling of The Pistols story, But what attracted me to this while skimming through it before I bought it today, was it had a large section dealing with The Pistols cracking re- union shows from 1996 to 2008. An era when I caught over 50 shows by the band, and every one was a joy to watch.
When I interviewed Mr Parker for this magazine when his Monty Python project came out last year, We touched upon his works of Pistols product, and he noted his distaste of their 2002 Crystal Palace show, which, while not their best performance, heralded some long lost gems from the bands early days, never to be performed again. But for a man who had made a career from his Pistols works - Unauthorized DVDS, authorized books, a Movie, and various TV and radio appearances. He sure knows how to stick a knife in the back of former subjects.
As well as having accounts by Glen Matlock, Captain Sensible and Malcolm McLaren (this edition is a re-issue, which adds a small section on McLarens' passing), It also serves as a heavy publicity tone for Parker's WHO KILLED NANCY movie, and extensive name dropping - the kind of "We met ROADENT in the pub", "We bumped into Glen in Maida Vale and went to the pub" kind of thing.....(Including a mention for my old tribute band), ......Yes, Alan, we know you know these people, and know them well, but focus on the story, or write a book about these people.
We all know the Sex Pistols story, from either side of the fence, from people who were there (John and Glen both have penned excellent books on the story). and people who definitely were not, (Joel McInver and your Swindle book - Fuck Off!), so I wont bother re-telling it here, Let's get to my main bone of contention.....
The book, as I said deals with the Reunion periods, and it was this I wanted to read, and starting on the high point of the 1996 Filthy Lucre tour, giving the band kudos for coming back and being so good. Then its onto Crystal Palace 2002, which, as I said earlier, was not the best I had seen them, let alone what Alan had, so much so he and his pals left mid - show...and as this book would have you believe, so did most of the audience....(It didn't look like that to me, and I was there for the whole day!) Not exactly a sell out show, It was in the middle of South London in a dilapidated Outdoor Sports Centre, but hey, bands on all day and The Pistols doing 90 Minutes instead of 55, sure does justify the hefty ticket fee.
Then onto the 5 Night stand at Brixton, for the "Never Mind The Bollocks 30th Anniversary" shows....Here it seems is where Parker and O'Shea seem to become the hacks only in it to get somewhere.....firstly getting into the particular gig free via the stage door, and leaving by the second song in the show disillusioned by it all..... Well, I was at all 5 nights AND the following Glasgow and Manchester shows, and by all standards, they were AWESOME affairs, the difference being I GLADLY paid to get into these shows, Parker and O'Shea didn't, and have made money off it!
Further slaughtering of the Pistols Combine Harvester tour of festivals, involvement with Guitar Hero and the final show at Hammersmith are talked of, all involving the endless name dropping. While the, photographs of bootlegs, memorabilia and tour laminates and posters can be of interest, Its all from the collections of two men who, without The Pistols in one way or another, wouldn't be in such regard today.
Like one of John Lydon's old sayings....."Journalists don't buy records, and therefore have no right to say what is good and bad" - Parker and O'Shea have made money off the Pistols backs and here basically tell us of their distaste of shows they got into FREE, and The Pistols' (primarily John's) right to have The Pistols performing at their time of life. They may not be the sprightly young things they were in 1976 / 1977, They may want to be paid for what they do, BUT IT IS THEIR RIGHT! - I don't see Alan bitching about Stiff Little Fingers (who he is friendly with) still performing their old hits and living in the U.S.A,.
This book bites the hand that has fed its Author, How much input is of Mick O' Shea's is unclear, and it marks the end of Parker's Pistols life........Let's hope so.