Friday, December 25, 2015

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, Christmas Day 1977

No holiday song today.

Instead, a holiday concert from my favorite band.

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, 12/25/1977

In 1977, in Huddersfield, England, Sex Pistols put on a pair of free concerts - one during the day for the kids of striking firefighters. Another at night in the same venue, again, a benefit for the firefighters. These would be their last two shows in England before their band-ending US tour. It wasn't planned, exactly - it seems to have come out of a combination of the desperation of the band to play anywhere and the desperate need of support by the strikers and their families. But it's still something else.

The video daytime one is pretty amazing - kids dancing in their Never Mind the Bollocks t-shirts, John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon handing out cake (and smiling as kids smear him with it), Sid clowning it up for the kids, Steve Jones and Paul Cook goofing off in the back - all great stuff.

You can imagine the Pistols must have seemed quite a spectacle to kids. What might seem threatening to the rest of the UK looks a lot different when it's done in from of 7-year olds. It's contrary to the Sex Pistols' public image, but it's not hard to see how much they're enjoying it. John Lydon grew up poor and working class, as did the other three. Doing this benefit must have felt pretty amazing - something you can hear in their voices when they talk about it even today.

Here is some video smashed together into a music video.

There is also a Julien Temple documentary:

In it you can see Johnny Rotten belting out "Pretty Vacant" while kids smash cake on his head.

And finally, here is the audio of the whole show:

If I could go back in time and see one historical concert, this would probably be it. Both halves - afternoon and evening. At least now, thanks to archival footage and the internet, I can listen to it on Christmas. God save the Sex Pistols, and Merry Christmas to all.

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