By Jacob Gryvelius.
Punk is, or was, a subculture, meaning rotten or worthless. Maybe those are words that fit most punk bands, together with famous, revolting and repulsive. Punk is possibly the genre that has caused most of the outrage, compared to every other genre. This is an essay about one of the most iconic punk bands of all time, by the name of ‘Sex Pistols’.
The Sex Pistols are iconic, no question about it. If you look back in history, back to the 70s, you begin to see a change of style and attitude against society’s norms, for example, a lot of the youth started to dress differently and listen to different music, which wasn’t so appreciated by the older generations.
An iconic artist for me doesn’t mean that you’re famous.
You can be famous, even infamous, and still not be an iconic artist. Iconic artists have something in common. They all, in some way or another, influenced the music industry and put themselves as a mark on history. An iconic artist stays in people’s memories, while a regular artist is forever forgotten, and is never listened to, after one or more generations. I like how the Sex Pistols stood out in their way.
In my opinion, and others for that part, possibly the most iconic punk band in history, ‘Sex Pistols’, even though they only existed for less than three years, influenced the punk industry forever. One of their most famous songs, or singles, is called ‘God Save the Queen’. When the song was released, it was immediately banned by the BBC, but it still became a monster hit. The song was kept from the No.1 spot on the radio to stop the song from fueling any more controversies. God Save the Queen remains a classic and one of the most powerful and incendiary singles of all time, and possibly the most known punk song ever.
The entire punk wave was inspired by trying to be seen and stand out as much as possible. If I’m being honest, the band is more famous for its negative aspects that its positive ones. The best that they accomplished was the result of their music and how it affected the state of society back then. The Sex Pistols were the only band who were able to make a real revolt in society as a music group, which screams iconic.
Sex pistols have a lot of dark history. The most famous of them might be the story of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy. Is it right to honour a band, which is famous because a person in that band, Sid Vicious, murdered his girlfriend, and then died of a heroin overdose after being put in jail for his actions?
The Sex Pistols in a good way because of their dark past. Perhaps it is as important to remember the good parts of a person, as it is to remember the bad parts, especially if it is a public person we’re talking about, even though you’d rather want to remember the few good parts about them, because the mistakes that they did and all the controversies that they started could have been avoided. The message behind the punk wave had a good idea, but it is debatable if that idea was executed in a good way, and the story of Sid and Nancy is proof of that.
The Sex Pistols legacy will probably live on forever, especially in the hearts of people who were alive and got to experience their legacy with their own eyes. The results that the Sex Pistols had on society had never been seen before, and I think we have them to thank that we’re entitled to listen to the music of our choice in this age as they influenced a lot of other bands, such as Nirvana, Green Day and Oasis.
“Be childish. Be irresponsible. Be disrespectful. Be everything this society hates.”
-Malcolm Mclaren, promoter and manager of the Sex Pistols.