14 January 1978 – Sex Pistols’ last ever gig

Less than two years after their infamous High Wycombe debut, The Sex Pistols took to the stage for what would be their last ever live appearance for the foreseeable future.

Their appearance at San Francisco’s, Winterland Ballroom on 14th January 1978 came at the end of an ill-fated debut mini tour of the USA.  The Pistols line-up at the time was Johnny Rotten (vocals), Steve Jones (guitar), Paul Cook (drums) and Sid Vicious (bass).  By the end of the evening, Rotten’s contempt for the situation was summed up by his farewell quote: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

The original UK punks had debuted in late 1975 and it was their appearance at High Wycombe College of Further Education on 20th February 1976, witnessed by local promoter Ron Watts, that proved the catalyst for Pistols Manager, Malcolm McClaren, to ask Watts for live gigs at London’s 100 Club.  After a ground-breaking residency at The Oxford Street venue, Watts, would bring the Pistols back to High Wycombe for an appearance at The Nag’s Head on 2nd September 1976.

Debut single Anarchy in the UK was released in November 1976, Bill Grundy wound them up on live TV in December 1976 and the rest is history (as they say). They have since become the most written about ‘punk’ band of all-time and the measure that all subsequent controversial bands have been judged.

Following the split-up, Johnny Rotten reverted back to his original name of John Lydon and later in 1978 formed Public Image Limited (PIL). Steve Jones and Paul Cook would form The Professionals, while Sid Vicious played one live concert as part of the Vicious White Kids (August 1978), before a heroin overdose in February 1979 would take his life.  Original Pistols bassist Glen Matlock (replaced by Vicious in February 1977) had already formed The Rich Kids by the time of the Winterland gig and his new band would play High Wycombe on two occasions in 1978.

The set-list for the Winterland gig was:

  1. God Save the Queen
  2. I Wanna Be Me
  3. Seventeen
  4. New York
  5. E.M.I.
  6. Belsen Was a Gas
  7. Bodies
  8. Holidays in the Sun
  9. Liar
  10. No Feelings
  11. Problems
  12. Pretty Vacant
  13. Anarchy in the U.K.
  14. No Fun

Watch the entire performance from Winterland:

20 January 1977 – Generation X – Nag’s Head

Thursday 20th January 1977 – Generation X – Nag’s Head

Generation X had been formed at the tail end of 1976, when 21 year old William Broad dropped his guitar playing role with early punk rockers Chelsea, to take on the pseudonym ‘Billy Idol’ and create his own band – taking with him/stealing, bass player Tony James (23), drummer John Towe – then adding 17 year old guitarist Bob Andrews.  They played their first gigs in London during December 1976, with their second ever live outing taking place on the opening night of The Roxy in Neal Street, Covent Garden.

Their appearance at one of the regular Thursday Punk nights at The Nag’s Head appears to be their first live gig outside of London and only their 9th ever gig.  Their style was more rock n’roll, rather than the chaos and political statements of The Sex Pistols and The Clash but the charismatic Idol was a crowd puller. Their set-list included Day by Day, Listen!, Youth Youth Youth and Your Generation.

Generation X at The Roxy in December 1976.

Support for Generation X at The Nag’s Head comes from The Bumpers.

It will be the first of four appearances for Gen X in Wycombe during 1977.

6 January 1977 – Sex Pistols sacked by EMI

Thursday 6th January 1977 – Sex Pistols sacked by EMI

The Sex Pistols are sacked by EMI after just three months with the record label.  The Pistols had played High Wycombe twice in 1976 prior to signing the deal with EMI for a reported £40,000.  The Bill Grundy episode, coupled with their behaviour on route to gigs in The Netherlands, had finally tipped the record label over the edge.  Their solitary release on EMI, ‘Anarchy in the UK’ remains a punk classic – “They only did it for the fame”

Press release from EMI confirming the departure of the Sex Pistols from the record label in Jauuary 1977