We tour the West End with author Paul Gorman, looking for the 40-year-old ghosts of punk
'A cheap holiday in other people's misery,' is how the Sex Pistols satirised the package holiday boom on Holidays In The Sun, but how about a cheap wander around other people's nostalgia?
It’s 40 years since punk rock changed the face of British music. While the Sex Pistols attracted moral outrage and front-page headlines from mainstream Britain, the scene that grew around them inspired thousands of young people to form their own bands: 1976 was the year that the Pistols swore lustily on the Bill Grundy show and a whole youth music movement kicked off (literally: irate viewer James Holmes of Waltham Forest reputedly booted in the screen of his £380 colour TV).
We set out to explore some of the key places in the birth of the movement, using as our guide ‘Punk London: In The City 1975-1978’, a neat little map from Herb Lester Associates, which takes the punk-curious around 100 key locations in its genesis. We looked at these old haunts with the guide's dapper author Paul Gorman, a man who can justifiably swear he was there.
Locations visited on this podcast
430 King's Road, SW10 0LJ
Home to SEX, the edgy clothes shop owned and managed by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, where future Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook hung around and were encouraged by McLaren to work with his Saturday boy, bassist Glen Matlock.
354 King's Road, SW3 5UZ
The Roebuck – the local pub for McLaren and his colourful clan.
6 Denmark Street, WC2H 8LX
The Sex Pistols’ rehearsal space-cum-squat.
107 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT
Site of St Martins School Of Art, scene of the Sex Pistols' chaotic first gig on 6 November 1975.
90 Wardour Street, W1F 0UB
The site of the Marquee, where the Sex Pistols supported Eddie and the Hot Rods in February 1976 and, as a result, received their first real press coverage.
24 Brewer Street, W1F 0SH
Scene of the Pistols' first headline show at El Paradise, in April 1976.
61 Poland Street W1F 7NU
Site of Club Louise, where the Sex Pistols and early followers including Siouxie Sioux and Billy Idol came together, as the punk scene evolved.
116 Wardour Street W1F 0TT
The Ship pub, scene of early meeting between The Clash and their manager, Bernie Rhodes.
The map and guidebook Punk London: In The City 1975-1978 is available, priced £6 from all good bookshops and herblester.com