2 September 1976 – Sex Pistols – Nag’s Head

Just over six months since The Sex Pistols had made their infamous appearance at High Wycombe’s College, the punk pioneers were granted an appearance at the Town’s premier pub venue – The Nag’s Head on the London Road – by local promoter Ron Watts.  In the interim period Watts had put the band on nine times at The 100 Club in Oxford Street, London, the most recent coming just two days before their return to Buckinghamshire.  For Watts this gig also marked a formal return to promoting at a venue he had first adopted as the home of his ‘Blues Loft’ back in early 1968.

A flyer for the gig at The Nag’s Head on Thursday 2nd September 1976 had been well circulated on the internet at the time this article was first published.  The press cuttings include the now famous ‘Don’t look over your shoulder, but the Sex Pistols are coming’ headline from a NME review of their support slot to Eddie & The Hot Rods at The Marquee just prior to their February 1976 appearance at High Wycombe College.  The entrance cost of 70p would also include support act, The Suburban Studs, described as ‘The Legendary CBGB Band’ despite them being from Birmingham, England!

Sex Pistols flyer – Nag’s Head 2nd September 1976

The gig was also advertised in the Melody Maker and the local press as Watts attempted to generate some interest in a gig that appeared to pass under the radar of many of the locals.

Sex Pistols – Nag’s Head 2nd September 1976
Advert from Melody Maker

Worth remembering that this gig was pre-Bill Grundy (1st December 1976).  Consequently, the return of the Sex Pistols to the town didn’t even warrant a mention or review in the local press.  If the gig had been arranged post-Bill Grundy, it would have undoubtedly made front page news and most likely have been cancelled.

Sex Pistols – Nag’s Head 2nd September 1976
Advert from Bucks Midweek Free Press

Watt’s had taken the opportunity to promote at the Nag’s Head again after regular promoter John Curd had taken the summer off leaving landlord Mick Fitzgibbons with a blank calendar for the loft.

Watts recalled in his autobiography: “I want back in, I’ve got some acts who will pull in bigger crowds than anyone else could get you.”

Watts also recalls the Sex Pistols gig attracted a ‘good crowd’ but it was no means sold out, explaining: “As I expected, the audience was mainly ordinary music fans who were punk-curious, although there were a few punks there. For some reason High Wycombe and Princes Risborough had an element of youth that were into the new scene much earlier than elsewhere outside of London.”

Some of the ‘punk-curious’ music fans in attendance included those who would eventually form what is recognised as High Wycombe’s first ‘punk’ band – Deathwish.  School friends Kris Jozajtis and Mark White were in the crowd for the Pistols and can be seen in some brief footage of the gig filmed by what is believed to be a French film crew making a punk documentary.  The footage appeared to be lost until appearing on the ‘Filth & The Fury’ film released in 2000.  Some slightly different footage also appeared on YouTube with a different edit to the ‘Filth & The Fury’ version.

Were you there? Please let us know.

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