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  • Rob Butterfield

HANGING WITH A PISTOL

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

The day I met Glen Matlock and we chatted about Bolan, Iggy and Australian Tours - we didn't mention the Sex Pistols...



Hanging with a pistol. Photo by Richard Shakespeare.

If you grew up in the 1970's the UK punk explosion of 1976/77 couldn't go unnoticed. The now legendary Bill Grundy/Sex Pistols interview in December 1976 only helped to build impetus for the punk movement, the likes of which the UK hadn't seen before. And boy did the music industry need it.

As a teenager I watched on with the excitement only a 14 year old could muster. My musical hero Marc Bolan was a big fan too and introduced many a new punk act on his Marc TV shows of 1977. It was at a T.Rex gig at the Rainbow Theatre in London in March 1977 that I witnessed my first live punk experience when The Damned took to the stage as the official support band on the Dandy in the Underworld Tour. My mind was blown.


Messrs Rotten, Jones, Matlock and Cook will go down in history as the people responsible for initiating the punk movement in the UK.


FAST FORWARD: It's early 2017. Danielz, T.Rextasy founder and front man, along with Marc Almond are finalising arrangements for a Celebration Concert marking the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Marc Bolan. T.Rextasy, along with a number of special guests will be performing a selection of Marc's greatest hits at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. The date is set for Friday 15th September. Guests include Tony Visconti, Marc Almond, Holly Johnson, Andy Ellison, Howie Casey, Neal X, Steve Harley, Spandau Ballet's Steve Norman and punk legend Glen Matlock. By mid April the gig has sold out.

FAST FURTHER FORWARD: 14th September, we're at London's Bush Studios. It's a full day of rehearsals with artists coming and going at their allotted times,and running through their chosen songs. Last slot of the day has been held for Glen Matlock. He arrives bang on time as I remember. He's a charming bloke, very different to the angry punk of the 70's. We run through two songs, Debora and I Love To Boogie. Rehearsals go well and we're done in less than an hour.

15th September. Everything is going as planned. The day is meticulously stage managed to ensure we're all suitably sound-checked and ready for the evenings gig. During a break I get the opportunity to sit and chat with Glen. We chew the fat on a few things; our mutual respect for Marc obviously, his planned Australian Tour (T.Rextasy had recently been offered an Australian Tour which sadly amounted to nothing; we were comparing notes) and we got around to chatting about Glen's involvement with Iggy Pop on the Soldier album. It was a fascinating chat. I'm a big Iggy fan and was well aware that Glen had played on and co-written some of the songs. I hope I didn't come across as some stalking geek - I don't think I did.


Later that night Glen joined us on stage. And what a night it was. I'm in my mid 50's for God's sake, I'm doing now what I dreamed of doing as a teenager. And I'm hanging with a real life Sex Pistol to boot. Rock n f'in roll!

Photos above courtesy of: (L-R) Cosmic Xposure, Cosmic Xposure, Richard Shakespeare.


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