Students from the British Music & the Media summer course met a musical legend recently, when Glen Matlock, from the original Sex Pistols line-up, visited Faraday House.
The students – who are exploring key ‘scandals’ that brought British musicians into conflict with the print and broadcast media – listened to Glen’s personal reminisces: from growing up in Britain in the 1960s (and the cultural impact that had upon his world view) to memories of meeting Paul Cook and Steve Jones at Malcolm McLaren & Vivenne Westwood’s London fashion store, joining their band, re-christening it the Sex Pistols and recruiting John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten).
Students married their own studies of the ‘Pistols and the media to Glen’s discourse about the political and generational divide that existed in the 1970s and the way the media responded to the arrival and popularity of punk. He recalled, in entertaining detail, appearing on ITV’s Today programme with Bill Grundy (in which Lydon and Cook swore), the media furore that followed and reflected upon the personal pressures of being at the cross-hairs of the news media’s focus and the contrasting reputation the group had attained in the popular music press of the day.
This post was written by Jacqueline Springer, Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University London for Race, Gender & the Media, The Bandier Program, British Music & the Media and Musical Mapping