Once past this dubious hic-up, things quickly take a turn for the better. He briefly tells us why was another memorable year for him, but it's that he wishes to return to. Using Sid's death in February '79 as its starting point, and stating the belief that Sid did not kill Nancy, nor was his death suicide or an accident, the tale then goes back to the s. Tales of helping set up equipment, the Buzzcocks getting an underage kid into a show, and touring with Sham 69 are retold alongside many bar side encounters with, amongst others, Paul Weller, Sid Vicious, and Gaye Advert. The bare facts are left as just that, the facts, but are presented from an unfamiliar angle — another technique put to use throughout. The Sex Pistols are four months old McLaren also gets some none too pleasant abuse, being disrespectfully described as "a control seeking snake" and "red haired prick": Barry had a clear love affair with sulphate, which is reflected in his jerky and paranoid approach to the scene around him.
Trondheim, 21st July is thankfully, different. In many respects punk meant more to those outside the capital, in the towns and villages where the youth really did have nothing to do. There are, however, plenty of intriguing nuggets of information which raise questions of their own. For a first time reader of the Pistols story, it is a commendable point of entry. He still had, in his later years, ideas for using the Sex Pistols, such as playing a protest gig on an energy free stage run on solar, wind and bicycle power. Graphic art is at its best when the subject matter is gritty, dark, with a splash of black humour thrown into the mix. The common theme that emerges is that nothing replaced the feeling they got from the excitement of punk and in some cases the '79 Mod Revival , and nearly all have returned to it, either to listen again to their old records, reform bands, or to attend punk shows. Siouxsie and the Banshees also played at the Outlook. You can't help but think this affected his judgement and contributed to his misfortune. If only he could have accepted this for what it was, perhaps he could have avoided a lifetime of torment. If the subject matter fascinates you, then you should buy this book, no question. Also fascinating is how the various people carried on with their lives once the era was over, many forgetting about music altogether, others moving into other scenes, embracing Acid House, Soul, Britpop and the like. Then there was his plan to record a new album with the Pistols and team them up with eco-warriors in a scheme involving the purchase of land and the building of a Sex Pistols monument for future generations to marvel at. Lavishing praise can be met with the response, "well, you would say that", likewise a negative review will raise eyebrows as to the motive. Once past this dubious hic-up, things quickly take a turn for the better. Some of the content may be familiar to long time fans, but a fair chunk of it won't be. What did happen to those aborted Bill Laswell recordings from March ? There's nothing wrong with this, it usually results in an entertaining and absorbing read. A flirtation with journalism widened his network. From the era when all you had was your local scene. McLaren also gets some none too pleasant abuse, being disrespectfully described as "a control seeking snake" and "red haired prick": Perhaps McLaren agreeing to help with the book, whereas John did not, proved influential in this respect. Who remembers the multi-coloured stage set that accompanied the band on their tour to promote Happy? No, on second thoughts, I'm glad it's taken so long; I've just enjoyed a brilliant read. The memories of anyone considered an insider should always make compulsory reading. The subtitle Growing Up With The Sex Pistols betrays the attitude on display — the authors are not claiming they grew up with the Sex Pistols, but that the Pistols were a part of their growing up, hence the passion and forthright opinions only a fan can possess.
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