The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Annals of Public Performance #32


The Sex Pistols call it a day at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco on Jan. 14, 1978. Did you ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

12 comments :

mister muleboy said...

If only I could go back and put a boot to Malcolm McLaren [and then gag him]. And a quick tolchok to John "Sid" Ritchie as well. Malcolm's machinations to exercise control and break up the band (or to exercise control, which broke up the band)were effective, and cost us a couple of albums Pistols music.

I love Steve's vocals on "Just Another Dream" and "1-2-3" -- but I imagine those songs in the hands of Lydon and I start salivating.

Although some shows in the '96 Filthy Lucre and '03 Piss Off tours were spotty, anybody who caught them on a good night knows what we lost by the events that led to Winterland.

Look up the Letterman "Pretty Vacant," and try to get good audio -- you'll be mad at Winterland, Malcolm, and Sid all over again . . . .

swac said...

I suppose, although it's hard to imagine this band *not* self-destructing sooner than later. If it wasn't for McLaren, the band wouldn't have existed, and if the Pistols had managed to wrest themselves away from his control, I still don't see Lydon continuing to make music in a punk vein for much longer after this point.

Iain said...

Without McLaren the 80's music seen would have been much worse. He got a bad wrap.


The Sex Pistols were destined to go down in flames. There was no other way for them to go. The Sex Pistols were a necessity but also highly overrated as is the punk scene. I grew up in the punk scene and loved it at the time but come on its dead like rock and roll it just doesn't know it yet. It stinks like fresh zombie corpse.

Brian said...

Actually, Winterland was an ice skating rink when it wasn't used as a concert venue. Not a ballroom.

swac said...

Funny, nearly every reference to it that I've seen calls it "the Winterland Ballroom".

Brian said...

The Wikkipedia article confirms the name Winterland Ballroom as one of it's names but lists all types of entertainment except dancing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winterland_Ballroom

swac said...

No dancing? What about The Last Waltz? (insert smiley here)

Robert Fiore said...

Sic semper, excuse me. Too lazy to Google, that's my downfall.

Timmy said...

muleboy, I just watched the Letterman "Vacant" piece. I only wish it had been The Lettermen doing the song instead.

swac said...

How about Electric Company's Letterman?

mister muleboy said...

muleboy, I just watched the Letterman "Vacant" piece. I only wish it had been The Lettermen doing the song instead.

I'm going to infer that you didn't like the 1996 Letterman appearance.

I like catsup. And Coke Zero.

And redheads.

Timmy said...

Nah, i liked the Pissdolls on Letterman. I just think it weird that Johnny Rotten did that same routine over & over... He did it great, but, it's just counteractive to me, somehow.