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Never mind the bollocks here's the Sex Pistols

Never mind the bollocks here's the Sex Pistols


It was actually the early 80's that I discovered the Sex Pistols and they were already over. 


The band had broken up in 78 and Sid Vicious had died in 79, but I was just a kid what did I know?


My older cousin Richard Brown introduced me to the Sex Pistols down stairs at my Nan's one school holidays.


Richard and I were average white Australian suburban kids, who loved Aussie Rules Footy in Winter and Cricket all Summer long, unless it was raining and then we'd play Freddy Truman's Test Match the board game inside.


OK so we may've tortured a GI Joe doll or two, by tying them up with string and pulling them along behind our push bikes or skate boards, but GI Joe was tough, he could handle it.


Anyway this particular holiday Richard had two tapes with him- The Great Rock n Roll Swindle by the Sex Pistols and Monty Python, 'The meaning of Life'.


Those two tapes just really worked together, they shared some amazing common ground and we were obsessed by them all holidays.


I went home to Mum afterwards swearing more than usual and now in my best rough pommy accent. I went straight to the hairdresser to get spikey bleached hair, which I quickly then followed up by piercing my ear.


These guys were like cartoon super heroes to me, with their complete contempt for authority and the establishment.


The stuff that legends are made of.


They felt dangerous and out of the box.


I remember watching a doco about their legendary 76 Manchester gig, where they inspired a generation of 'self empowered' punk bands such as Joy Division, The Smiths and The Buzzcocks.


There was such an inspiring energy in what they created.


Of course it's al fun and games until you wake up from a heroin frenzy to find your girlfriend dead beside you with a stab wound to her stomach and then die yourself of a heroin overdose not long after. 


A true tragedy there is no doubt. 


😞


But as a band and as an idea they encapsulated something truly great.


I can't remember hearing the word 'Anarchy' in a positive light, before the Sex Pistols.


I might've heard someone describe a complete mess or chaotic event as anarchy, but never in a way that made you want it whilst thrusting your fist into the air.


After that holiday experience with my cousin, I was quick to track down what ever I could in regard to the Sex Pistols and 'Never mind the Bollocks' was at the top of the list.


What an awesome album. It's an energy. I felt echoes of it again when Nirvana released 'Nevermind', which felt like a tip of the hat to me. 


It's an energy, it's a self determination, it's having nothing and nothing to lose, it's an asserting one's self in the face of established and corrupted authority, it''s a David and Goliath story of the underdog. It's an uprising of the disenfranchised.


I went on to read more about anarchy.


George Orwell's account of the Spanish Civil War, 'Homage to Catalonia' where the folk were opposed to the rise of fascism and communism and simply wanted the right to self govern. 


I read Chomsky and his ideas on Anarcho-Syndicalism and worker owned co-ops etc for after all if there's no government who's going to collect the garbage and fix the roads? I loved his ideas about "how no human should be reduced to the role of a cog in a machine".


We each deserve the dignity of a meaningful and self determined existence free from harm, abuse and threats of violence and oppression.


I read about the Greek movement 'The Cynics' whose premise was that no one had the right to make decisions on someone else behalf.


It seemed the more I read the more I understood that at the roots of this philosophy was something profound and truly meaningful - 'Responsibility', 'Self Determination' , 'Self Reliance' and ‘Self Governance’. 


But....I mean lets face it the whole Laissez-Faire push from the Right with its reduced Government, no regulation etc most certainly springs from a similar well, but like the chaos most people think of when they think of anarchy, the self interest and greed of the Corporations lends itself to complete irresponsibility and if the events of the 2008 Lehman Brothers crash teach us anything, it's that these institutions are also completely unaccountable for their actions.


No, like anarchy, trickle down economics is simply pie in the sky utopian dreaming. It just doesn't work. 


We need governance, we need a social contract, look what happens when ever we destroy a rebel government overseas.


It creates a power vacuum and we end up with something worse than before.


But this idea at the root of it all, to question authority, to take responsibility and to stand up in the face of the bully, to express oneself freely and fearlessly- there is something of great and important value in all this.


Like Bill Hicks said in regard to The New Kids on the block - I'm paraphrasing, but something like, "when did mediocrity become a good influence for our children? Government approved Rock n Roll, we're partying now? Corporate suckers of Satan's c@*k the lot of them!"


We need space in our culture for the rebel, we need that perspective. 


I watched the Gala event for the Melbourne Comedy festival on the ABC. I was horrified! Everything is so PC it's shocking, disturbing, worrying!


Rant over, never mind the bollocks, here's the Sex Pistols.

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