Punk Legend Glen Matlock and his friends Earl Slick, Jim Lowe (Bass) & Chris Musto (drums) are back on the road. The band of longtime friends play songs from Glen’s solo career and and rocka billy versions of Sex Pistols classics. Glen was the youngest member of The Sex Pistols at only 16 and he wrote many of their hits from God Save The Queen, he also played for many years in Iggy Pop’s band. Slick was Bowie’s guitarist. We caught up with Glen ahead of their gig at The Bungalow in Paisley to ask him a few questions.
You were incredibly young to be so involved with the punk scene. Can you tell us what it was like to be there, in the thick of it, as a 16 year old boy?
Well I guess it was my late 16s when I first met Steve and Paul and we started giving it a go.
It was an exciting time as by then we had already forged a bit of a name for ourselves. We found ourselves hanging out at the very epicentre of hip London courtesy of Malcolm McLarens’ Teddy Boy shop whose doors every prime mover of the nascent punk scene stepped through. It was a buzz to the bit of grit in the oyster that the pearl grew around.
Paisley has a bit of a punk legacy – many of the punks being refused gigs in Glasgow and ended up coming through to Paisley instead. Did you ever make it up here in the 70s?
As I hear. Never played there with the Pistols although we did play a college in Dundee in ‘76 where we were bottled off because the crowd had heard we liked that kind of thing!
Might have played there with the Rich Kids but my brain is a little rusty on that, but we have played there in more recent years and have always dug the crowds unbridled enthusiasm.
Many people know that you and John Lydon didn’t see eye to eye and you left The Sex Pistols on acrimonious terms. Did it feel different when you reformed? What are relations like now?
We have had no need to speak since we walked offstage at what is probably the band’s last ever gig in Vitoria in the Basque Country in 2010.
I like to think we have mutual begrudging respect but then I’m not always right. I do like John’s quote though that says that while the band are not the best of friends, we are also not the worst of enemies.
Pretty Vacant, God Save the Queen… both became hits after you left. You’re quoted as saying that leaving cost you millions. Does that sting still?
A couple of things. One is, that you do get a chance to clawback over the years. Also, letting go and moving on is a higher priority.
Is Iggy Pop as wild as he looks?
Pretty much but he is also a highly intelligent and erudite gentleman. You just don’t always know which one is going to turn up on the day.
How did you meet Earl Slick? How does your partnership work?
Through a session with some mutual chums in the States.I think we hit off in Jack Lmon, Walter Matheu kind of way and have been rock and roll sparring partners on and off since. Don’t tell him but I think he is pretty nifty on the guitar and brings out the best in the toe tapping tunes I come up with.
Is there a song you wish you’d written?
Plenty but I wouldn’t have minded being credited with What Kind of Fool am I? by Anthony Newley
Which song are you most proud of writing?
‘On Something’ on an album by me of the same name.
The Glen Matlock Band Featuring Earl Slick will be playing The Bungalow in Paisley on 6th March.