Simon Napier Bell: the Dodgy Business of Popular Music: Punk
Simon Napier-Bell (who previously managed Wham, Marc Bolan, Japan and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (during his Yardbirds phase) is back in Skrufff, delivering a short series of excerpts from his must-read new history of the music business book ‘TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY- the Dodgy Business of Popular Music’. (Click here to download/ buy)
“British punk was not as nihilist as the punk ethos actually dictated; British punks liked to be successful and earn money.
But it was a localised fad, not bound for world domination, and not likely to give British record companies big artists with which to face the future. Of all the companies who fell flat on their faces, EMI did it best.
The problem started when the company signed the Sex Pistols. Their manager, Malcolm McLaren, was an anarchist through and through. He wanted to sabotage world order with his group and rehearsed them to be a bunch of foul-mouthed yobs.
On a promotion trip to Europe, Johnny Rotten arrived at the airport somewhat worse for the previous evening’s wear. “Hey Malc,” he told his manager. “I’ve got to find the toilet quick.”
Malcolm held his arm tightly and headed for the gate.
“But Malc, I’m going to vomit.”
Malcolm wouldn’t let him out of his grip and eventually the vomit arrived with Malcolm still walking him to the boarding area. As a result, the vomit got spread around a bit – into every newspaper in Britain.
‘Vile Sex Pistols’, ‘Disgusting Punks’, ‘Teenage Filthies’ all the usual sort of stuff.
TA-RA-RA-BOOM-DE-AY- the Dodgy Business of Popular Music: “click here to download/ buy: