Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sex Pistols The Inside Story by Fred and Judy Vermorel

Here is Rapsodie Espagnole by one of my favorites, Maurice Ravel, performed by the Montreal Orchestra.

In its atmosphere, the Rapsodie reflects the profound influence of the Spanish musical heritage imparted to Ravel by his Basque mother. As a child, Ravel would listen to his mother sing him folk songs from her country. Later works by Ravel, such as Boléro and the opera L'heure espagnole, also claim similar sources of inspiration. From the blurb on Youtube.

Sex Pistols: The Inside StorySex Pistols: The Inside Story by Fred Vermorel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am fascinated by movements, especially ones that I have heard about, but never really focused on. So this year, almost forty years after the fact, I am reading up on Punk Rock and the movers and shakers who propelled that movement to international attention.

This book is comprised of a diary of Sophie, the Sex Pistol's secretary, and the interviews that Fred Vermorel and his wife Judy conducted with each member of the band as well as people associated with the band.

Some of it was insightful in that it showed how a group of ill-educated, low class punks could become world famous. You get the right promoter behind you and you can go places and it's not wholly due to personal ability in the realm of musical talent, or financial or business knowledge.

Which is probably why when the Pistols disbanded a couple of years later, they did not have much money to their name.

John Lyden, aka Johnny Rotten was able to move on and create his own band and brand of experimental type of music. The rest seemed to sink into anonymity, except for Sid Vicious whose sensational death along with the death of his girl friend, Nancy, has become legendary, in no small part because of the movie made about them.

It fascinates me why so many people flocked to this genre of music. Did it really speak to them? Or was it promoted in such a way that made it appealing and attractive to young people? I'm still trying to discover how it works.

The interviews themselves are not very interesting in my opinion because the young men did not have a whole lot to say for themselves. We learn what they hate and what they're against, but what they stand for or like is unknown. Being reactionary only survives if there's something already established to react against. As their own type of music became popular, they lost their raison d'etre.

I have a few more books about The Sex Pistols and the Punk Rock movement in general. We'll see what they have to say about it all.

View all my reviews

 One of the postcards I received from St. Petersburg, Russia.


mudpuddle said...

great card! never heard of the sex pistols...

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Sharon - I think that I would find this fascinating. I always felt that other groups, such as The Clash, that came later, had a lot more substance then The Sex Pistol. But as a cultural phenomenon I guess this band had a short lived but strong impact. As for what they represented, I understand youthful rebellion, but their brand of angry nihilism went beyond that and was an odd thing.

I am curious as to what your impressions are of the other books on this subjects.

Have a great week!

RT said...

I always enjoy your musical offerings. Thanks.
FYI ... new posting at new address due to Blogger problems:

Sharon Wilfong said...

I know. I knew that not many of my readers would be all that interested in this book, but I read what I read and then I write about it afterward. What can I say?

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Brian. You have an eclectic reading tastes as do I. You probably would find this book interesting. I did, even if I'm not all that thrilled with who the Sex Pistols are. As you say, they were a moving force in our present culture.

I think the Clash are going to be mentioned in a few of the other books I have.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Thanks, R.T. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I will look up you new blog address.

mudpuddle said...

that's all that's required...

Sharon Wilfong said...


Carol said...

Maybe if they had a different name we might never have heard of them.:) We had a comedian/'journalist' over here in the 70'/80's and he interviewed a few of the more well-known celebrities in Australia, the USA & the UK. His name was Norman Gunston & he was a bit of an idiot but I loved how he handled some of them especially when they were trying to be cool. He interviewed people like Cheech & Chong, Guns & Roses, Frank Zappa & Warren Beatty. He's on youtube - not everyone's type of humour.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken said...

Your point about being a reactionary needed something to react against is such a lovely line and very poignant. I am weirdly fascinated by the group, but at the same time have not bothered to read up on them - now I can just read your reviews instead!

mudpuddle said...

i wonder what that thing that looks like a rib cage is behind Dali? he's fascinating... i know he was regarded as a con artist, but it's always seemed to me that there was a sort of mesmerizing quality about his work... and was it technically excellent i thought. but what do i know, proletarian no-nothing that i tend to be...

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Carol.

I just watched Norman Gunston with Frank Zappa. I was hoping he would really raze Zappa because I can't stand him. He didn't, but he was so funny and witty. And a darned good harmonica player.

I'm going to have to watch the rest of his videos now.

Sharon Wilfong said...

HI Sarah!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and thank you for the compliment.

I'm glad you said you are weirdly fascinated by them, because those are my sentiments exactly. I also have been reading books by Patti Smith. I don't know why these people intrigue me so. Maybe because I'm trying to understand how they became so popular.

Sharon Wilfong said...

HI Mudpuddle. I would like to know who painted this card. It wasn't Dali, it is a Russian artist. I, like you, had regarded him a bit of a con artist, but after reading an excellent biography of him, I have come to regard him as a creative genius.

He also went through a spiritual transformation after WWII. The invention of the atom bomb shook him to his core and his paintings began to take on religious themes reflecting his Roman Catholic background.

Sharon Wilfong said...

I forgot to add that there is an interesting What's My Line with Salvador Dali as the mystery guest. Here is the link if you'd like to see it:

mudpuddle said...

interesting... i'll look around for a bio... tx...

Sharon Wilfong said...

Sure thing!

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