Pistols At Dawn – Malcolm McLaren, Sex Pistols & Hastings Pier 3rd July 1976 by Barry Taylor

Copy of the handbill for Budgie/Sex Pistols gig that Barry handed out around the town to create interest.

PISTOLS AT DAWN – Malcom McLaren, Sex Pistols and Hastings Pier  by Barry Taylor

Malcolm McLaren was the visionary who invented ‘Punk Rock’ to the shock and delight of 70’s Britain. He emerged from an art college background. During this time he became fascinated by the ‘Situationists’ , a group of French artists and intellectuals and went on to apply their ideas to his own career. At Goldsmith College he met up with Vivienne Westwood, they open a boutique in Kings Road, Chelsea which eventually became ‘Sex’ and a flagship for the punk moment.

At this point Mclaren began to ‘assemble’ the Sex Pistols. John Lydon, for example, auditioned in the boutique, by singing along to ‘Schools Out’ on the jukebox. Then, he was joined by messrs Jones, Cook and Matlock and this was the line up which graced Hastings Pier ballroom in July 1976.

I had booked the ballroom for a series of concerts, having kicked off with 50p admission, featuring up and coming groups supported by local talent but this was not a great success. One of the best performances was by ‘The Stranglers’ as a support act! Casting around for a support for heavy rockers ‘Budgie’, I noticed the winds of change heralding the arrival of punk rock from the direction of London.

I managed to somehow contact Malcom Mclaren at his HQ and duly booked the Pistols for a modest sum. Prior to the concert, I was asked to arrange a PA system for them, as they didn’t possess one! I will never forget the shock waves when Mclaren and his motley musicians arrived at the pier on July 3rd. Compared to us hippies, they were a bunch of aliens, with their spiky hair and clothes held together with saftey pins but they were nevertheless, quite friendly. I am not sure what the Budgie fans made of the Pistols shambolic, yet exciting set. It was an incongruous pairing of bands, to put it mildly.

I remember there was an unpleasant scene after the gig. John Lydon was not impressed with the P.A, provided by a local musician and expressed his displeasure. I appreciated Glen Matlock’s intervention as peacemaker, as a fracas loomed but there was an intimidating aura surrounding the Sex Pistols at the time.

I tried to rebook them but Mclaren did not return my calls! The famous Bill Grundy TV interview was December 1976 so fame and notoriety was beginning to whisk the Pistols away. McLarens maverick style of management owed something to Andrew Oldhams guidance of the Rolling Stones and he proceeded to sweep all before him. Malcom negotiated a lucrative recording deal with EMI, who didn’t realise what the Sex Pistols were about! After releasing ‘Anarchy In The UK’ he engineered the sacking of the band from EMI but kept the advance and promtly switched them to A&M. That didn’t last and they ended up with a more sympathetic label in Richard Bransons ‘Virgin Records’. All of this, 3 record contracts, in a very short space of time and plenty of money!

By 1977, cracks were appearing within the Pistols and Glen Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious, generally acknowledged as a mistake by Mclaren. By early 1978 it was over but he left his mark on rock management and influenced others who came later with a similar disregard for civilised behavior at the time!  Like Alan McGee who steered Oasis to success in the 90’s.

Malcolm reinvented himself as an artist and had a hit with ‘Buffalo Girls’ .. but will always be remembered for the Sex Pistols.

Barry Taylor

Morten Of Norway…I attended the Pistols/Budgie gig. I was 15 year old language school student, from Norway, visiting England for the first time. I knew Budgie, but had, of course, never heard about Sex Pistols. Been addicted to punk rock ever since!

Read more

Steamhammer – Hastings Pier 13th July 1973



supplied by Mick Mepham and Roger Carey

They originally came from Worthing and went on to be massive in Europe and tour with Led Zeppelin. Managed by Barry Taylor. Not so big in the UK but canny Clive Richardson realised the town was full of German students in July and I think he ended up with over 800 people.





ticket & management letter supplied by Clive Richardson

Geoff Peckham….A great band in their time who preempted the Quo sound and were very popular overseas. Original bass player, Steve, still lives in Worthing and has some tales to tell!

Andy Qunta….1st Steamhammer album – excellent! Still listen to that quite often! This is a stand-out track though!

poster supplied by Clive Richardson

Pete Houghton… That was a great night both Band’s were excellent

Richie Worley…  I’m trying to find out any info with regards to the support band Crimson Earth in this article from 1973, band members, management that sort of thing, also another band from the same time/area called Orange, any info would be much appreciated. I believe my father managed both bands back in the day.

Clive Richardson… I promoted this gig and think I booked Crimson Earth direct from an advert. I remember the band were good with a singer with a great voice. I think I paid them around £40/£45. Sorry I don’t have anymore information.

Dave Nattress… Thought I recognised a name. Martin Quittington (sic), is I’m sure the same “Martin Quittenton” who co-wrote Maggie May and You Wear It Well by Rod Stewart. He also co-wrote other stuff with Rod at that time and played guitar on several tracks!!

Barry Bumps into… Pete Brown

Barry bumps into… Pete Brown

Well,I first met Pete in London, towards the end of the magical Sixties! He lived in an apartment near Marble Arch where you could always find a variety of musicians. Petes band at that point was Battered Ornaments but that association was to end controversionally. However, his reputation was by then assured, due to his songwriting with Jack Bruce, for the legendary Cream.

Meeting for a late lunch at Pissarro’s, I was impressed with how fit Pete looks. He is a keen swimmer and recently swam a number of metres in one session, which I can only dream about!

Music-wise,Pete contributed the majority of the lyrics to Procol Harums “Novum” album, which achieved success earlier this Year. His biog movie,”White Rooms+Imaginary Westerns” is nearing a distribution deal and will feature Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, from Cream and people like Martin Scorsese. As is a documentary featuring the celebrated guitarist Davy Graham-Pete is the host in this film, which includes interviews with myself and the Hastings blues guru Alan King.

An exciting future project is “Cream Unplugged”, which may well offer an opportunity to re-interpret some of those wonderful, timeless Cream songs. Involved in this will be Malcolm Bruce and hopefully, Eric Clapton.

As a Charity gig promoter, I hope to feature Pete live in Hastings soon, his 2015 St Leonards performance is still fondly remembered by all who enjoyed it!

Barry Taylor – October 2017


2nd Bare Faced Blues Festival – Gecko Bar 4th Oct 2015.

Bare Faced Blues Festival




The 2nd Bare Faced Blues Festival will be held at the Gecko Bar on the 4th October 2015 in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

Line up confirmed:  The Black Sheep (photo above), special guest Pete Brown, Roger Hubbard, Peter O’ Donnell & Mick Bolton, Blues Plus, Eddy Odel.

Contact Barry Taylor for more details: barry.taylor145@googlemail.com

Natasha Kaschevsky… Looking forward to taking some photos again, this year!

Barry Taylor… For some Years now,there has been a steady migration of Musicians, Writers and Artists,from London to areas like Hastings…which of course offers a varied and vibrant music scene. One of the recent arrivals is Pete Brown,poet,writer and performer.He is perhaps best known for his contribution,as lyricist,to 60s Supergroup CREAM.Petes writing resulted in rock-classics like “White Room”,”Politician” Sunshine Of Your Love” and many more. These songs launched Cream into a short but hectic career which made Eric Clapton,in particular, into a Global star. Pete also worked extensively with Cream bassist Jack Bruce,whose most memorable album was “Songs For A Tailor” in 1969,after the demise of Cream. Pete Brown makes a rare guest appearance at this Years BFBF in aid of St Michaels Hospice.The venue is Gecko Bar,St Leonards seafront, on Sunday 4th October, from 1.30pm.Admission is free,with a collection and sales of CDs+prints. Pete Brown will be accompanied by Jack Bruces son, Malcolm [keyboards] Headlining the Event will be The Black Sheep,plus Roger Hubbard, Peter ODonnell+Mick Bolton,Blues Plus and Eddy Odel.

Bare Faced Blues Festival playing times: Eddy Odel 1.30, Roger Hubbard 2.30, Blues Plus 3.30, Peter ODonnell+Mick Bolton 4.45, Pete Brown 6.15, The Black Sheep 7.15


Bare-Faced Blues Festival – September 7th & 14th 2014


Barry Taylor is looking for more people to help with the collection buckets and can be contacted at barry.taylor145@googlemail.com or 01424 712842

Janine Anne Hemsley…..”Looks good”

Times for this event are:

Sunday 7th September Goo Goos – 2.30 Pete Prescott & Highway – 4.30 Buick 6 – 6.00 Turpin & Walker – 8.00

Sunday 14th September Mick Bolton – 2.30 Joe Rytlewski Band – 3.30 King Size Slim – 5.00 Pete O’Donnell – 6.00 Tea Chest Blues – 8.00

Don’t forget the CD which will be on sale for only £5.00, with all proceeds going to St Michael’s Hospice.


Buick-6_sm KSS_sm tea_chest_blues_sm

peter_odonnell_sm pete_prescott joe_rytlewski_band

jem_turpin jez_walker goo_goos_2

mick_bolton mick_mepham  guitar



Bare-Faced Blues Fest 2014. Update.



Gecko Bar St Leonards-on-Sea . To raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice.



DJ/Compere: MARCO with his blues/rockabilly vinyl.

Should be good. Tickets available soon.  Promoter: barry.taylor145@googlemail.com

Joe Knight…..looking forward to it, great music & musicians

Bare-Faced Blues Fest – Sunday 7th & 14th Sept 2014


A blues festival is planned for Sunday 7th and 14th September 2014 to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice. ‘Bare-Faced Blues’ will be held at Gecko Bar in St Leonards and will feature the cream of the local blues artistes. Discussions are taking place with acts including T.Chest Blues, Roger Hubbard, King Size Slim and Nelson King Goo Goos.

Promoter Barry Taylor would like to hear from any local musicians who could contribute to an event which will show the wide variety of styles within the ‘Blues Genre’  and he has ambitions for it to become an annual event. Barry can be contacted on: barry.taylor145@googlemail.com or I’m happy to pass on any messages.


Tapestry Of Delights

Tapestry Of Delights guide to bands from 1963 – 1976.        

Recommended by  Barry Taylor



Lists bands with record releases from this era and details of band members. I did find the mention of ‘Factory’ in here. Pity it only goes up to 76.


Barry’s Blog


ANDY JOHNS – the legendary studio engineer has died, aged only 61. The Stones, Zeppelin, Van Halen and Free are just some of the bands he worked with.

BRIGHTON GIGS – There are some cracking gigs coming up in Brighton, including Steve Winwood, Mark Knofler, Terry Reid, Moody Blues and Elvis Costello. Trouble is, the lousy train service or tedious road journey, makes it hard to get there and back. Maybe we could organise a mini bus if enough people are interested?

PETE SEARS is one of the finest musicians that I worked with. He is a gifted bassist & pianist, I met him in the late 60’s and arranged sessions work for him. Pete was attracted by the idea of working in America, so off he went with lovely Lucy. He first teamed up with old mate Micky Waller(drums) with whom he played on Rod Stewart sessions., plus Leigh Stephens(Blue Cheer) and they formed SILVER METRE. Pete’s big breakthrough came when he was asked to join JEFFERSON STARSHIP, with Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Marty Bolin and others. They made several fine albums like ‘Red Octopus’, before Pete moved on to play and tour with HOT TUNA. More recently, Pete has worked on documentary Soundtracks, recorded solo work and guested with the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Ry Cooder. The Englishman in California did good!                     

Barry Taylor