Newsletter December 2002

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It seems as if the Sex Pistols hoopla will never quiet down. Anniversaries are always a convenient peg on which to hang events, especially massive marketing campaigns, but in the case of the Sex Pistols retrospection is ironic in all sorts of ways. For one thing, this iconoclastic crew is now on a pedestal (if not actually being worshiped). At least Eric Clapton keeps being God, as the graffiti used to say, and he hasn’t been deposed, although not for the punks’ want of trying in the mid-seventies.

Otherwise, the stories just keep coming. Mike Thorne, their A&R man during the infamous EMI period, was interviewed exhaustively and exclusively last month by Phil Singleton for the leading Sex Pistols site God Save The Sex Pistols. An extended E mail exchange, it proceeded for over ten written pages, and we’re very happy to publish it in tandem with their site. The only thing different from their presentation is the pictures, one of which is a true world premiere.

Naturally, it was an anniversary that stirred up most of this, 2002 being 25 years after something or other, probably the release of the band’s first and only studio album in QE2’s Silver Jubilee year of1977. The opulent boxed set included Thorne’s long lost (on a basement shelf) demos made just prior to their ejection from EMI. The interview deals extensively with that brief and intense period, largely from a below-the-stairs perspective.

One item which was published quite broadly, but not intended for books or Web sites, was EMI supremo John Read’s classic statement to the press after the drunken Bill Grundy elevated the whole group to permanent notoriety with inebriated goading on an early-evening family TV show. (Daily Mirror: ‘Lorry driver James Holmes, 47, was outraged that his eight-year old son Lee heard the swearing…..and kicked in the screen of his TV.’ Sound believable to you?) The press release is a classic of class warfare and culture collisions in the mid-seventies, not to mention evasiveness, and we now print it in its entirety.

Aside from these releases we’re fairly low profile, being now in London to prepare Lene Lovich’s album for January mixing. By the next newsletter, the Universe Symphony of Charles Ives will be ready for mixing also. Thorne’s mixing of his second CD is half done, all 40 minutes of it for four tracks. Always did go on a bit……

BETTY continue to build on their success at New York’s Zipper Theater with their production BETTY Rules. There are still some bargain areas available, although they are now selling out several of their eight shows a week.

And thanks to you all for the support. We entertained some 14,000 visitors last month. Most encouragingly, you stick around reading and listening, since November’s page servings were heading for a projected record at about 56,000, corresponding to nearly 200,000 hits. If you have any constructive comments or mindless abuse you’d like to share, please hit our contact page and send us an E mail.

And er enjoy the holidays. We’re supposed to say that.

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