Thoughts On The Immediate And Lasting Impact Of The Sex Pistols And "Never Mind The…

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Dez 17 2010, 23h05

Here is my contribution to an online discussion about the importance of The Sex Pistols:

The fact that "...Bollocks" was their only statement adds to the mythology. There is nothing to dilute the message, no dying embers. It was an album that crashed to earth like a giant asteroid and marked the ending of the era of the dinosaurs.

Youth had been staging their quiet rebellions for centuries-but the Pistols were the center of a typhoon of backlash and outrage that turned rebelliousness into something that parents couldn't ignore away. A rebellion that didn't tell kids how to be, but who they didn't have to be. Their parents. And it was the outrage of the authority figures that fueled the insurrection. It messed with their minds, but that's okay, because it was opening up their minds as well.

It was dangerous and it was cool and it was sexy and it was happening in your backyard. Why? Because you and your friends saw that story on 20/20 about the Pistols. Or read the article in Time Magazine about the Pistols.

Wearing leather jackets and saying "Fuck you-fuck you" seems banal in hindsight, but to the kid who is just discovering punk rock and questioning authority, it's practically a scientific breakthrough. It's like watching your child discovering the Beatles for the first time. You marvel at his/her eureka moment-you don't roll your eyes and say "Yeah but what about Big Star...".

So today punk rock has been usurped by the mainstream and rebelliousness is now a marketing strategy. Sure, it's a bit sickening but not more sickening than having rebellion silenced. If "Rebel Without A Cause" is about a rebel that is misunderstood, then "...Bollocks" is two fingers up in their faces so that there is no misunderstanding.

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