Budgie & The Sex Pistols – Hastings Pier 3rd July 1976

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey…..Was talking to the fella’ who services my boiler the other day and his lasting memory of Hastings Pier was this gig. He said the Sex Pistols were pile of poo and got practically booed off the stage…. everyone had come to see Budgie. Also amused me about the Wrestling and some those that were household names during the 70s.

Bobby Walker….I was there. Had gone to see Budgie, as had become a huge fan after seeing them supporting Genesis on the Pier (never got to see that much of Genesis as spent their set chatting to Budgie in the bar).  The Pistols were an almost completely unknown entity at the time – Danny Baker had mentioned them once in the NME.  They were on stage for less than 20 minutes. They couldn’t play. They played “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” three times and definitely played The Stooges “No Fun”.  They were, without doubt, the most exciting live band I’d ever seen.  Think there was only one punk in the audience. A really nice bloke who called himself Sid Vicious.
A friend, Marianne (sadly no longer with us), was so impressed with the Pistols at that gig she changed her name and formed her own band – she became Poly Styrene and the band was X-Ray Spex
Two weeks later, The Stranglers played support to the Frankie Miller Band and got the same poor reception, despite being quite brilliant. Remember only three of us were on our feet during the Stranglers … me, Gary Paine and John Storer (who I met again a couple of years back – he’s now a lawyer)
We got invited backstage by Hugh Cornwell from the stage and he called the rest of the audience “wankers”.

Jane Hartley…..Oh yes, I was at the Rosko night, still got the ciggie he gave me!

Mick O’Dowd…..Most people when asked about The Pistols appearing on The Pier thought they were the headliners when in fact they were only the support. They never did reappear on the Pier.

Martyn Baker…..My girlfriend at the time was dead keen for us to see The Sex Pistols that night. I’d never heard of them , so I said “nah, let’s go down The Anchor instead”! Missed opportunity?

Paul Morfey… I was there, wondering what the hell was going on, green hair and safety pins!

Dave Weeks… Me too

Ernest Ballard… Sex pistols supporting Budgie ?

Neil William Michael McGuigan… It was quite a night. Pistols were virtually unknown at the time outside of London and a few mentions in NME. Only 2 punks in the crowd, Sid and the blonde from SEX Kings Road

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!

John Storer… Have to take issue with one point here …. The Stranglers appeared as a support band a couple of weeks or more after Sex Pistols, not before.

Peter Thomson… I was there, admittedly to see Budgie, but definitely aware of the rising phenomenon. I felt too old for all that at 19. The late John Storer and I got into a bit of banter with Lydon on stage. Budgie were superb!

Glenn Piper… Budgie were great…….my thoughts on the support band are best left unsaid

Ralph Town… Was there too I think the Pistols got thru 2 numbers before calling it a day

 

Virgin Money – Sex Pistols credit cards.

Thanks to Jim Breeds for finding this

Anarchy_card_tcm61-55082 NMTB-landscape_tcm61-55107

© Virgin Money

http://m.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/rebellion/

Jim Breeds… Hmm … “In a press release, Virgin Money say it’s “time for consumers to put a little bit of rebellion in their pocket”.” Or is it time for the Sex Pistols to put a little cashing-in in their pockets?

Mark Gilham… Predictable. None of it was meant to be predictable.