Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones recently spoke to Nihal Arthanayaka on a radio show and talked about his former bandmates, John Lydon and Sid Vicious. The musician also drew attention to the two artists’ significant influence on punk rock music and image with their styles.
Punk rock music emerged in the mid-1970s by being inspired by garage rock. The musicians rejected mainstream music and record companies’ rule over the artists to gain more money and fame with their short, fast-paced, hard-edged melodies with unique performances. Also, punk wasn’t only a musical genre but also turned into a widely known subculture in which young people of that era were significantly affected.
Its characteristics, such as non-conformity and anti-authoritarianism, were reflected in different forms of art, fashion, literature, and music, along with the others. For the music part, Sex Pistols’ debut single ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ became a groundbreaking work, especially after Sid Vicious joined them to replace bassist Glen Matlock; their image changed forever.
Jones admitted that they were more focused on music before Sid Vicious than their image, which was iconic and definitive for punk rock music and culture in general. Sid Vicious and John Lydon’s fashion and lifestyle reflected the ultimate punk image according to the Sex Pistols icon. The guitarist added that even though he didn’t know or describe it for sure, the chemistry brought the founding members together in the first place.
Regarding Vicious’ chemistry with John Lydon, Jones stated:
“Some people have chemistry whether it’s good or bad. It works, and that is what gives you that angst when you’re looking at it. There’s some tension on the stage. Whatever that is, not every band has it. The Who had perfect chemistry. It’s hard to say. I can’t describe it. Image wise, when Sid joined the band, they looked great together, amazing, and the ultimate image of what people would call punk rock.“
The host added:
“Was that real to you, or was that more about image than it was about being in a band or a musician?”
“As I said, it was when Glen was in the band we were definitely focusing more on music. That was a big part of it, and it turned into a bit of a circus after, and it got silly. It lost it. We have been a bit naive at first.”
You can check out the interview below.