Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks (2002)

“How can you ban words?”(John Lydon AKA Johnny Rotten)

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols is a behind the scenes look at the making of the GREAT Sex Pistols’ album. The documentary is about 50 minutes long (with approximately 40 minutes of bonus features), and includes interviews with surviving, original band members John Lydon, Glen Matlock, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. Also interviewed are: Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McClaren, various rock journalists, record executives, and technical people who were involved in putting the album together. Some of these interviews include conflicting comments about the band (for example, on the subject of Glen Matlock’s departure), and the juxtaposition of these conflicting statements will fascinate the Sex Pistols fan.

There are also video clips of performances from several of the album’s tracks, and footage of the performance of EMI (as well as the background story to why the song was written in the first place). The film’s narrative covers some of the highlights in the Pistols’ career–the Bill Grundy debacle, the Jubilee barge on the Thames (John Lydon: “It was fun letting off a storm outside of parliament“), and the various record company contracts. The band members all comment on the addition of Sid Vicious to the Pistols, and Lydon expresses some insightful comments on Sid’s ultimate self-destruction. Steve Jones plays many of the now-famous rifts on his guitar, and his segments reveal a pleasant sense of humour laced with an element of nostalgia.

The interviews with John Lydon were the highlight of the DVD. Almost 30 years after Lydon’s Sex Pistols’ days, Lydon still has the same demented look in his eyes, and he is clearly an articulate, intelligent, freethinking rebel who possesses an amazing clarity of vision. His sheer force of character created many riveting scenes. Fans of the Pistols won’t want to miss this DVD.

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