November 20, 2004

The Filth and the Fury

The story of the Sex Pistols. They hated music. They hated to play their instruments. They hated fame. They hated their fans and their crowds. They hated each other. They hated the world.

Getting inspired to write about that is a little difficult, but their story is nonetheless fascinating to me. The Sex Pistols of course weren't so much a band as a social phenomenon, spontaneously generating from an English youth who were very disaffected, and had little interest in Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

The film is very interesting in the way it was done -- intermixing clips from the film version of Shakespeare's Richard III. The modern-day interviews of the bandmembers have them in black like they were whistle-blowers protecting their identity, you never see how they looked in 2000 when the film was produced. A logical reason for this is to keep the film in the time of the band's heyday. Johnny Rotten and company only discuss what was going on then.

Johnny's words are the most interesting aspect of the film for me. ("I don't have any heroes.") That and the general coverage of Sid Viscious. What an asshole. We've all heard many stories about those who couldn't handle fame, but his story seems different. I think his situation was compounded by the fact that he didn't really know how to play bass. So he didn't have any art to escape into. He knew on some level that he was a fraud. His and Nancy's ends are well documented in this film.

The Sex Pistols' role in both rock and roll and social history is forever. The Filth and the Fury documents that in a very compelling fashion.

There's a nice quote on one of the pages linked above: "the sex pistols ARE punk, the rest are 'punk-rock', BIG difference...."

Posted by Wayne at November 20, 2004 01:13 PM
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