THE SEX PISTOLS, THE CLASH AND SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES ON EARLY TV DOCUMENTARY ‘PUNK’ FROM 1976.
A band called the Sex Pistols were playing gigs in and around London. Promoter Ron Watts saw them rip up the joint at a gig in High Wycombe in early 1976. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before. This was the start of the future. This was what everyone was waiting for. He booked the band to appear at the legendary blues and jazz 100 Club in London. He organized a weekend festival called The 100 Club Punk Special for September 20th and 21st, 1976. The line-up was the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Damned, the Buzzcocks, Subway Sect, Stinky Toys and Chris Spedding & the Vibrators.
When the Sex Pistols hit the stage, everything changed. “In one night,” Watts later wrote in his autobiography Hundred Watts: A Life in Music, “punk went from an underground cult to a mass movement.”
The Sex Pistols had killed off one generation’s music and announced something new.
…[T]his was the big one, the first day of a new era. Nothing could compare with it either before or since.
Onstage, Johnny Rotten was “insulting, cajoling everyone in the room, his eyes bulging dementedly as he made the audience as much a part of the show as the band.” The group tore through their set to a thrilled and enthusiastic audience. The Clash played their set, while Siouxsie and the Banshees had improvised a set around “The Lord’s Prayer.” A week later, a crowd 600 deep formed a line at the door of the 100 Club.
Smart enough to recognize the importance of what had happened, investigative reporter Janet Street-Porter fronted a half-hour feature on the Sex Pistols and co. called “Punk’ for local TV program The London Weekend Show . First broadcast on November 28th, 1976, “Punk” contained some of the very first if not the first television interviews with Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, and Paul Cook, as well as Siouxsie, Steven Severin (aka Steve Spunker) and Joe Strummer, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of the Clash. Here are the witness statements of the feelings and the facts.