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The Early Days of The Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty [Paperback]

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Item description for The Early Days of The Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty by Mick O'Shea...

The Sex Pistols remain the key iconoclasts of the punk movement, and from the moment they were seen swearing on national TV, they became tabloid pariahs, and Rotten and Vicious became notorious household names. This semi-fictionalized fly-on-the-wall account focuses on the band's early days when they were a bunch of rock-obsessed street urchins and petty crooks, rehearsing, bickering, fighting and hanging around Malcolm McLaren's shop SEX. Captures the true chaotic spirit of punk.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2005
Publisher   Helter Skelter Publishing
ISBN  1900924935  
ISBN13  9781900924931  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mick O'Shea

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mick O'Shea has written The Guns and Roses Encyclopaedia (Chrome Dreams), Only Anarchists Are Pretty; The Early Days Of The Sex Pistols (Helter Skelter) amongst other works.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Punk
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Rock

Reviews - What do customers think about The Early Days of The Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty?

Being there at the beginning...sort of  Jan 9, 2007
John Ford is famously quoted as saying "Print the legend, not the facts," as part of his approach to movie making. And, truth be told, he made some fine films. So, what we're saying is that a well told and emotionally satisfying story is sometimes better than reality.

Mick O'Shea does just that in 'The Early Days of The Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty,' a fictional, yet wholly believable narrative about the gestation and birth of The Sex Pistols. O'Shea creates London of the mid-1970s, teetering on the edge of economic and social collapse amidst the 'bread and circuses' atmosphere of glam rock. He then populates this arid and ravaged landscape with actors whose names are drawn from real life but who are animated to Dickensian proportions by the author's genius at characterization and dialogue.

The story line is both classic and cliched. A struggle by individuals with everything against them who manage to succeed at what they set out to do. But, at the same time - because we the readers know what the outcome will truly be - the story takes on a Greek tragedy aspect as small successes sow seeds of a larger failure.

But, that's not part of this story. 'Only' starts with the formation of the Pistols and ends with the confrontation with Bill Grundy. In between, the characters - who again like a dickens story all have their sympathetic and comic moments - live a lifetime in just a few short months.

One can only hope that O'Shea will be revisited by the Muse who charmed him into creating this gem of rock 'n' roll fiction and that she will encourage him to go on with this saga.
Never Mind The Journalism...  Sep 6, 2005
As a longtime Sex Pistols fan, I approached Mick O'Shea's book with a degree of apprehension - after all, the Pistols' story has been recounted in innumerable books already, and for me, Jon Savage's "England's Dreaming" and John Lydon's "Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs" are the definitive volumes. Plus, films like "The Filth and The Fury" and "The Great Rock 'N' Roll Swindle" (the latter being mostly fictional, yet occasionally amusing and intriguing) and the "Never Mind The Bollocks" episode of "Classic Albums" cover a lot of ground too. What's so new about "Only Anarchists Are Pretty", then? What new ground can O'Shea cover? Well, O'Shea takes, literally, a novel approach to the Sex Pistols' saga. Taking the dates, names, chronology of events, and personalities (as he understands them) of the major players, O'Shea has built around them to create an engaging work of semi-fiction. The story begins in the mid-70s with ne'er-do-well London pals Steve Jones and Paul Cook angling for wily clothes proprietor Malcolm McLaren to manage their fledgling rock the group expands and takes momentum, familiar characters like Glen Matlock, Bernie Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon, Sid Vicious, Nick Kent, Mick Jones, Siouxsie Sioux, Billy Idol, etc pop up to take their place in this immortal chapter of rock 'n' roll. But this book won't just appeal to fans of the Pistols or Punk Rock - it concentrates on the frustration, drudgery, spats, bursts of inspiration, chaotic writing sessions, and unpredictable gigs that would be familiar to any would-be musician or band member. Beginning in 1974, the story ends with the Pistols' infamous, profanity-laden appearance on Bill Grundy's "Today Show" in 1976, which swiftly and ultimately became both a blessing and a curse for the band (one is left wishing that O'Shea would pen a follow-up - one recounting the strange innocence of the Pistols being corrupted by media infamy, Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen, drugs, shambolic [mis]management, etc). In equal parts funny, touching, squalid, insane and interesting, I recommend "Only Anarchists Are Pretty" wholeheartedly - it might not be the true story, but it deserves to be. In fact, if ever there is to be a narrative, non-documentary motion picture of the Sex Pistols, adapting a screenplay from O'Shea's book would be a smart move. My only gripe is that there are an annoying number of spelling and punctuation mistakes (missing full-stops, etc), but these in no way detract from an impressive and intriguing read.

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