Ted Dahlin recently wrote a book about her friendship with Sid Vicious during the Sex Pistols 1977 tour of Norway. In this blog she talks about Never Mind The Bollocks. Hereâs the Box Set, which features a live version of one of the gigs n that tour.
By Ted Dahlin
Universal Music have released a âsuper-deluxeâ (is it called that to justify the price ?) Never Mind the Bollocks. Hereâs the Sex Pistols box set. This expansive 3 CD/ 1 DVD collection that is released to mark the 35th anniversary of the only album made by the Sex Pistols has practically been ripped off the shelves. The box set includes demoâs, b-sides, live cuts and a re-mastered edition of the record using ânewly discoveredâ master tapes and includes the âlostâ 1977 studio demo of Belsen was a Gas. It also includes a full CD of live material recorded in Norway and Sweden in 1977, most of which is previously unreleased. Well, if you exclude the famous Spunk bootleg, of course. It also includes a100 page 1977 Diary, with lots of photos and comments.
The Scandinvian tour hasnât been getting much attention until lately, as the Sex Pistols only played small clubs mostly. I think the Trondheim concert at the Student Union (Studentersamfunnet) was probably the largest venue they played on the whole tour, taking a thousand or so people. Nobody has really cared about what took place there 35 years ago before. Now there is suddenly speculation in to what happened. The box set tries to catalogue and explain minute details of a tour that can hardly be described as being important to music history either in Scandinavia or the rest of the world. They delve into minute detail about why there are only 9 songs available from the Trondheim concert.
There is speculation in to the video of the concert breaking in two places as the reason for the rest of the set being lost. I could have cleared it up for them if they bothered to ask. I was at the concert, standing backstage left; looking at my watch and hoping it would all end soon. I was the 16 year old translator for the Norway leg of the tour and as such have a crystal clear memory of what took place. I donât remember seeing anyone videotaping or recording the sound either. But there were almost 1000 people there, so Iâm sure that piece of information is correct.
However the reason there is a break in the concert is because we blew a fuse. It took Roadent and Boogie and the local sound technician a. few minutes to rectify the problem. It was feared we would have to cancel the concert altogether at one point. This happened around the middle of the concert. Sid lay down on the stage with his bass on his stomach, waiting for the signal to start playing again. When the fuse problem was fixed, they started playing again and soon John Lydon stopped the concert once again and had to appeal to the audience to stop spitting or they would leave the stage. I think we had another problem with the sound towards the end of the concert and the Sex Pistols never played the whole set, but left the stage after 9-10 songs. I clearly remember Paul Cook not being happy about this and he and Lydon counting how many songs they had actually played in the little room backstage where we hung out after the concert.
I seem to have jumped on the bandwagon of getting involved in all the details of what happened 35 years ago too. I find it strange that people are so interested in this one band that were only together for a few months and made just one album. What is it about the Sex Pistols that make people spend good money on b-sides and small concerts in Scandinavia 35 years ago ? How important can one band be to warrant this kind of attention. ? All these fine details remembered and catalogued for the fans, albeit not always correctly. You tell me; how important were the Sex Pistols and do we really need a box set, or is it the record company cashing in on a punk renaissance having nothing more to offer the fans than old tapes and demoâs and bootleg recordings from a concert in a small town in Norway ??