Sex Pistols: Last Winterland Concert

“To people like me, there is no order.”

The Sex Pistols broke up in 1978 at the end of the infamous, disastrous North American tour. Their last concert took place at the Winterland in San Francisco on January 14. The DVD Sex Pistols: Last Winterland Concert is the footage from that historic performance.

On the DVD, the Pistols perform the following songs:
God Save the Queen
I Wanna Be Me
New York
Belsen Was a Gas
Holidays in the Sun
No Feelings
Pretty Vacant
Anarchy in the UK
No Fun
(performed in the encore)

The Sex Pistols are tired, and there’s an obvious lack of cohesion between the band members. Johnny maintains his demented look and excellent diction throughout the performance, and Sid sneers at the fans. In between songs, Steve Jones idly plays a few notes on his guitar while ignoring insults from the crowd. Throughout the show, the Pistols are pelted with various objects and the love-hate relationship they have with the fans is evident. Johnny’s deliver of the song EMI at Winterland should be compared to his performance of the same song on the DVD Never Mind the Bollocks: We’re the Sex Pistols. The contrast between the two live performances is staggering. When the Pistols perform No Fun for the encore, it’s obvious that this is an ironic choice–the band is discordant and far from their best. So it comes as no surprise that this was their last performance and the band broke up shortly after the Winterland show. Johnny terminates the concert with that famous line “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” A good companion piece to this DVD is the book, 12 Days on the Road with the Sex Pistols by Noel Monk, the North American tour manager. The Sex Pistols: Last Winterland Concert is about 60 minutes long, and it’s an essential addition to a Sex Pistols collection, and as evidence of the band’s final disintegration, it’s priceless. We all know there will never be a reunion show….

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