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Steve Jones: "The best part of being in a band is when no one knows who you are"

The former Sex Pistol has found happiness as a (sober) radio presenter in LA. But rock’n’roll still pumps his blood

There’s two sides of the Sex Pistols for me,” Steve Jones tells Classic Rock: “before and after Grundy. We were all about the music before that, but from then on it was all about the media.”

In December 1976 the Pistols’ appearance on Bill Grundy’s Today show, on which their host drew from them a series of profanities on teatime TV, threw the band onto the front pages of the tabloids and into the national spotlight. Fortified by “at least two bottles of Blue Nun, maybe three”, Jones’s dropping of the F-bomb was the primary source of all the hoo-ha.

It was all in keeping with the guitarist’s reputation as the band’s most notorious rogue, a Dickensian wide boy from a broken home, with a history of petty theft and over a dozen criminal convictions. Music saved him from himself, he says. He learned his chops by playing along to the New York Dolls, the Stooges and the Faces, hopped up on speed. Alongside drummer Paul Cook in the early 70s, Jones co-founded The Strand, which morphed into the Sex Pistols by the middle of the decade. The rest is, well, history.

From the archive

From the archive


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