Sunday, October 07, 2012
THE SUNDAY CORRESPONDENT
This is an article I was intending to write to have published in June, to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
God Save The Queen is a song that can be seen as still suitable for now.
A year ago, there were riots throughout London and other English cities, caused by disenfranchised young people, much like the times in which the song was written.
It was a protest song.
It reached No.2 in the charts. Or so they told us!
I remember going into Woolworth's, in many towns the only place to buy records, and in the window or on the wall, where they had the chart, they had a blank space at number two……they refused to even print the name SEX PISTOLS.
Rod Stewart was at number one with the double A-side I Don’t Want To Talk About It/First Cut Is The Deepest. Both records were printed at the same record plant. It was reported at the time that they were producing 4 times more Sex Pistols records to every one Rod Stewart record. There was no way back in 1977 the Sex Pistols were ever going to be allowed to get to No. 1.
I always thought that, when government records and papers were released after 30 years, it would have been revealed that the government of the day had blocked the single from reaching No.1. The lyrics are not as damming as you would at first think, because they do proclaim a love for the Queen with……
"God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
Of course, the BBC gave the single its obligatory ban, which back in the day added to the appeal of the track. Glenn Matlock’s rocking tune with it’s thick guitar sound was given the Chris Thomas production treatment, previously used to great effect on everything from The Beatles to Roxy Music. It was an inspired move by Malcolm McLaren to ask such a well-established and experienced producer to work with his young upstarts who celebrated the fact they could hardly play their instruments.
A box set of Never Mind The Bollocks has just been released to celebrate its 35th anniversary. (note from JC - at a mindboggling £95 a pop!!)
The Pistols split up after their shambolic US tour in January 1987 after only 7 gigs. Malcolm McLaren purposely chose the southern bible belt of America to maximise the hostility the band would receive. It worked. The rednecks of that area were never going to get the humour of the snarling upstarts.
In recent times, John Lydon has turned himself into some kind of national treasure in the UK by appearing in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and the BBC’s political show Question Time, as well as being the ‘face’ of Country Life butter in their TV adverts.
Danny Boyle also used 'God Save The Queen' in the Opening Ceremony to this year Olympics.
Changed days indeed............
MR JOHN GREER, Sunday 7 October 2011
Another note from JC......
Being the classic pair of punk music fans 35 years after the event, and in keeping with Mr Lydon advertising butter on UK telly screens, it seems appropriate that myself and Mr Greer are today partnering one another in a golf tournament.
AND YET ANOTHER NOTE FROM JC
Despite probably everyone who ever wanted the song actually owning a copy in some shape or form, the mp3 for GSTQ has had to be removed cos of those nice folk at DMCA....