Sex Pistols Free trade hall was 40 years ago – key gig but did thousands of people pretend to go?
Of course it was an important gig.
Possibly the catalytic moment in Manchester’s musical history which sparked lots of the following action.
The Sex Pistols gig at the Free Trade Hall is now 40 years old.
June 4th 1976 was the night that Buzzcocks brought the Pistols up to Manchester for the concert that was attended by some of the key players of the Manchester post punk scene – it’s follow up gig four weeks later saw a few more inspired into action by the Pistols music/image/energy/attitude making the punk band a sort of honorary and huge footnote in the Manchester music history.
The story is much polished and much cherished but there is an added myth that the amount of people who claimed they were there would have been thousands. I can honestly say that in all my years of living in Manchester I’ve hardly met anyone apart from the clutch of people who actually made the gig who claims they were there at either show.
It’s a great myth of course and gives the two gigs a real added sheen but apart from the trusty few who made it down there out of curiousity or coincidence there is actually hardly anyone else who ‘claimed they were there’!
You can read an oral history of the two gigs in John Robb’s Oral History of Punk Rock book here
You can steal John Robb’s ‘Oral History of Punk Rock’ from any good book shop or buy a copy online from here.