We’re going to officially date ourselves here, but we can remember the Sex Pistols bursting into UK (and eventually global) consciousness way back in ‘the summer of hate’, 1977. Back when a musical act still had the power to ‘shock’ the sensibilities of the average housewife (as opposed to merely annoying PETA by wearing a ‘meat dress’ at the VMAs). Better still, we believed (or at least, wanted to believe) the Pistols when they told us that they meant it, maaaaaannn.
Which makes this next bit of info all the more depressing. For the first time ever, the Sex Pistols have licensed one of their anarchic ditties for use in an advert. The song is (appropriately enough) Pretty Vacant, and the company using it is none other than William Hill. Amazing to think that back in 1977, graying punters were likely standing around a William Hill betting shop, waiting for the next race to go off, shaking their heads over News Of The World headlines describing “the filth and the fury” of the latest Pistols’ exploits, then muttering to one another about how ‘a dose of the army would do those snotty brats no harm.”
Of course, we’re being melodromatic. The Pistols have been coining their legacy into filthy lucre for decades now, whether it’s been dodgy reunion tours, cash-in live albums, Johnny Rotten/John Lydon appearing in butter commercials and reality TV shows like I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here or as a celebrity judge on the Bodog Music Battle of the Bands program (but at least that show had something to do with music). And honestly, who are we to slag them off for doing so? They certainly didn’t earn any money during their initial go-round, when they left us with one classic desert-island-disk, for which we’ll always be grateful.
But fair warning to William Hill and any other bookmaker who might be listening… If any of you cunts try to license Card Cheat by The Clash, we and Joe Strummer’s ghost are going to go all Guns of Brixton on your sorry asses…