That revered oldies act known as the Sex Pistols landed in New York City on August 8th for a two-night stint at Roseland. Otto Luck was originally given the duty of covering the story but declined the assignment after stating that he "wouldn't go see those guys if you paid me." Since we've never paid Otto a cent yet, we are now forced to rely on various field correspondents (read: friends) for our information.
The general consensus has it that the Pistols performed a competent if somewhat uninspired 50-minute set. Sources have commented that the show was everything from a "total blast" (Jim Farber, Daily News) to a pleasant evening, slightly better than one spent at the local bowling alley. As they did in their Finsbury Park gig (London, June 23), the Pistols opened up with "Bodies" and played every selection from the Bollocks album, in addition to a couple of B-sides recorded during their brief, meteoritic career.
Johnny Rotten (ne John Lydon) did his middle-age punk shtick goading and taunting the audience between numbers and the crowd reportedly ate it up (no shouts of "You fat bastard" were chanted by the audience as there were during the London appearance). Being middle-aged and somewhat lumpy seems not to have slowed Lydon down.
Reports have it that the band was tight, if not a tad too polished, with Steve Jones's power chords forceful and chunky as ever, Paul Cook's drumming as steady and powerful as it was 20 years ago and Glen Matlock's bass playing clearly in sync and in key with the rest of the band as opposed to the late Sid Vicious, who was known for often playing a completely different song than the rest of the troupe during his somewhat tragicomical existence.
But Sid's gone and, as Loaded editor James Brown puts it, the Pistols are "fat, 40 and back ... and sounding as great as Never Mind the Bollocks suggested they would."