Sex Pistols are a punk rock band that formed in London, England, United Kingdom in 1975, out of the ashes of The Strand. They are, together with The Clash, responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two-and-a-half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.
The band is comprised of vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook, and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock left the band in 1977 and was replaced by Sid Vicious, who remained until the band's initial 1978 breakup. Matlock rejoined the band for their 1996 reunion and has remained with them throughout most subsequent reunions, including the most recent, in 2008.
Sex Pistols were managed by the infamous Malcolm McLaren, after he saw Johnny Rotten sporting a Pink Floyd shirt with "I hate" scribbled on. Impressed by Johnny Rotten's attitude, McLaren brought Rotten to audition for frontman of The Strand, the band that would later become the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols have been described by the BBC as "the definitive English punk rock band" and are widely credited with initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and creating the first generation gap within rock and roll.
Sex Pistols emerged as a response to what was perceived to be the increasingly safe and bloated progressive rock and manufactured pop music of the mid-1970s. The band created various controversies during their brief career, which captivated England but often eclipsed their music. Their shows and tours repeatedly faced difficulties from authorities, and public appearances often ended in disaster and riot. Their 1977 single, God Save the Queen, released during the build up to the Queen's Silver Jubilee, was widely regarded as an attack on the British monarchy and British Nationalism.
The group broke up in 1978 amid a turbulent tour of the United States, but reunited in 1996 for the "Filthy Lucre" tour, and have staged subsequent reunion tours in 2002 and 2003. On 24 February 2006, The Sex Pistols were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but refused to attend the induction, calling the museum a "piss stain".
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of their debut album, The Sex Pistols reunited for 7 live shows. They played 5 nights at the Brixton Academy in London between 8 November and 14 November, 1 night at the MEN Arena in Manchester, and 1 night at the SECC in Glasgow. The band last performed live in 2008 are are currently on hiatus as John Lydon tours with Public Image Ltd., which reunited in 2009.