Sex Pistols: Live at the Longhorn (1978)

 “We are ruled by none”

The DVD Sex Pistols Live at the Longhorn is the footage from the band’s performance on January 10, 1978 at the Longhorn Ballroom in Texas. This gig took place towards the end of the band’s disastrous North American tour, and the stress and strain shows. The Pistols aren’t quite ready to implode yet (see Live at Winterland for the final performance). The DVD is relatively short (37 minutes), and the Pistols perform the following songs:

EMI
Bodies
Belsen Was a Gas
Holidays in the Sun
No Feelings

Problems
Pretty Vacant
Anarchy in the U.K
.
No Fun (performed in the encore)

The Pistols play to a fairly tame, small packed-in audience–the camera records the action from a number of angles, and thanks to this, you really get a sense of actually being there. Johnny Rotten is in good form, but Sid Vicious deteriorates on stage. He has the carved ‘A’ on his chest, and his left arm is badly infected and bandaged. At one point, he falls off the stage. This results in a bloody nose for the rest of the show.

The Pistols’ enthusiasm increases a little as the concert continues. At one point, Rotten changes the words from “Anarchy in the U.K.” to “Anarchy in the U.S.A.” Guitarist Steve Jones is set for a little aggro with a member of the audience when the bouncers intervene, and Rotten, referring to Sid tells the audience to “look at that living circus.” The DVD sound is decent (not great), but fans will add this DVD to their collection and note the concert’s significance to the history of the band. If you are interested in the history of the band–and in the North American tour, in particular–I highly recommend 12 Days on the Road with the Sex Pistols by Noel E. Monk and Jimmy Guterman.

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