Or…how I never saw the Sex Pistols.
Another trawl through the vinyl, and it seems only right to raise the flag for “God Save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols, as the nation prepares for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Released on 27 May 1977, but overshadowed on that very day by the 18th birthday of a certain Johnny C, for whom sadly there was no river boat trip, there’s been enough written about the song and the band, without adding my five penn’orth. [If you don't know the story, this article by Neil Spencer is as good a place as any to start].
If everyone who claimed to have seen the Sex Pistols actually did, then I’d love to have been in that number. However, I wasn’t…
But, fast forward to 21 July 1977 and I was for one brief moment part of the Clacton Contingent…a little known group of followers working at Butlin’s Clacton and modelled (very) loosely on the Bromley Contingent. [OK, so the last bit isn't true....] The date in question was the first time that the Pistols had appeared on Top of The Pops, and staff at the camp all piled in to one of the communal TV lounges, (how quaint) to watch them undermine the fabric of British society…or not, depending on your view.
Yes…I was a teenage Butlins Holiday Camp Waiter for the summer of ’77. Very rock & roll…..as this extract from a letter that I wrote to my Mum from Clacton in August 1977 shows. Clearly I was beginning to develop an all encompassing world view from an early(ish) age!!
“Once again the people on our tables are very pleasant in the main though we [my then girlfriend and I] have both got a couple of tables that are rather miserable- you wouldn’t think they’d come on holiday to enjoy themselves….
“We think that tips will be quite good this week… the least we have had in total between us has been £13, and the most £18, which isn’t too bad…
But for pure, unadulterated hedonism, try this
“We have one day off (a week). We shall probably go to Norwich for the day, although the fare is £4 return by train and £3.75 by national bus”… Alan Partridge would be proud.
The revolution was still more than a T-shirt away…