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13 November 2014

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Musical history

You are in: Leeds > History > Musical history > He was a teenage Sex Pistol

Glen Matlock in action onstage

Glen Matlock in action

He was a teenage Sex Pistol

Glen Matlock has been talking to BBC Radio Leeds about his musical ventures (and he might have been asked about the Sex Pistols too).

Let's face it, what ever musical projects Glen Matlock embraces many people are still going to mention those two little words: Sex Pistols.

Glen was a driving force behind the short-lived band (1975-78). The Pistols still resonate down the musical years after three whole decades.

Under the control of Malcolm McLaren the Pistols shocked a nation and its music fans with the force of the band's lifestyle, stunts and music. Listen now to the singles and it can be hard to realise what the fuss was about (despite the music still sounding good). But to many teenagers of 1976 the band, and others like them, broke right out of strict musical and cultural straitjackets.

After the Sex Pistols Glen has had a series of bands and interests including the Rich Kids, along with Midge Ure, and more recently Dead Men Walking. Now his latest album, On Something, is released with The Philistines.

"...it's better than being 'Glen from the middle of the road'"

Glen Matlock

In an interview about the new album on his website Glen himself cites influences from the Beatles, Cream and Status Quo to the Modern Lovers. And he even reckons part of one song is his take on Mud's 1970s anthem Tiger Feet.

Currently Glen is on a short acoustic tour (taking in Leeds' Hard Rock Cafe) before leaving for some tour dates in Spain with The Philistines.

Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds before his Leeds gig Glen explained he is still good humoured about his musical past and always being known as 'Glen from the Sex Pistols'.

"It's just the way it is, and it's better than being 'Glen from the middle of the road'."

Away from the music press, the recent headlines for Glen have been about his robust views on swearing on TV. The articles made much of the irony of those views from a member of a band that swept to nationwide tabloid attention after swearing (albeit after being heavily provoked) on Bill Grundy's TV show.

Can it be true, is the ex-punk mellowing? Despite being somewhat misquoted (he claims) the sentiments are true.

"I don't like 'f-ing and blinding' about cooking sausages. Just swearing for the sake of it to make yourself more outrageous, when there's nothing to back you up, is not very good.

"It's the quality of swearing involved."

Musically if you catch Glen on his tour you can expect "something old, something new and something bluesy".

Oh and feel free to express yourself from the audience, but make sure it is worth it.

"A bit of barracking always goes down well - as long as it is good quality barracking. I always have a laugh, I am not a po-faced performer, I always have a bit of a giggle."

last updated: 08/10/2008 at 14:43
created: 13/10/2005

Have Your Say

Did you see the Sex Pistols at Leeds (then) Polytechnic in Dec 1976? Or any other memories of the band?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Dr Andrew Millward
I saw the Sex Pistols at Leeds Polytechnic in early December 1976. I had an opportunity to go and see them in London about six months before, but missed out. I went with a friend from my first year in Halls (I was at Leeds Uni) with David Moffat and I can recall the evening vividly. An avid reader of N.M.E., I had been following groups like the Stooges, Velvets, Flamin Groovies etc for the previous couple of years, so the style of the groups that night The Damned, The Clash, Johnny Thunder and the Sex Pistols was already known to me. For the record several numbers played by the Pistols were by groups such as The Monkees, Small Faces. Nevertheless I remember being very impressed by the energy and thinking what an impact these groups would make when they got really well known! I am intrigued to know if the Leeds concert was captured on film or audio. It would be nice to hear again. It would be even nicer to know how David is getting on after all these years!

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