the sex pistols

It was 1977, I had just finished filming Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’ when I decided to visit an old friend of mine – Rae Spencer-Cullen – in New York.  In addition to acting I also used to write articles for the glossy punk magazine  “Delux” edited by Willy Daly and Duncan Fallowell.  Upon mentioning I was off to New York, Duncan exclaimed, “Why don’t you try and get an interview with Andy Warhol for the magazine?”

I arrived in New York and rang ‘The Factory’. I was immediately invited down to meet Warhol as he was very interested to find out about Jubilee and the Punk movement in England. During the course of our meeting, he asked me if I knew the Sex Pistols, and if so, whether I could get an interview with them for his magazine ‘Interview’.

Arriving back in England a few weeks later, I contacted Malcolm McClaren asking if it would be possible to interview the Band.   He said it was fine, but I had better get a move on as they were off on tour to America in a few days and were about to play their last gig in the UK at Ivanhoe’s in Huddersfield.  They were playing a matinee and evening show as part of a benefit for families of striking firemen, the gig was to take place on Christmas Day 1977.  At this time the location of any gigs the Pistols played were kept secret until the very last minute, in order to avoid trouble and cancellation.

I drove up to Huddersfield on Christmas morning and witnessed an electrifying concert.  I spent a lot of time backstage where several of these pictures were taken.  The band were incorrigible, Nancy Spungen stood behind me trying to set light to my hair – it was Johnny Rotten who finally stopped her. Sid Vicious was completely out of it, along with the other members of the band, excluding Rotten.  The band poured beer in my tape recorder, which virtually stopped it from working and referred to Andy Warhol the whole way through as ‘Andy Arsehole’. Remarkably, I did manage to complete the interview but, unsurprisingly perhaps, Warhol decided not to use it. I sold it to Heathcote Williams for his magazine ‘It’.

Huddersfield was the last concert that the Sex Pistols played in England.  In February 1978 Rotten left the band and within a year both Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious were dead.

In 2008 the remaining Sex Pistols reformed and played a concert at the Brixton Academy.

Photographs taken by Jenny at the Concert were shown at the Rock Shutter Exhibition – ‘Best 500 Rock and Roll Photographs’ in Las Vegas, USA  and prints of these are now highly collectable.

Jenny Runacre