Mornings with Brian Phillips
Reelin and Rockin... And The Weirdest Band Appearance In Rock History
June 18th, 2013
Hope you can make it out to the Gateway Film Center Wednesday June 19th for Reelin and Rockin. Colin Gawel and myself are screening Julian Temple's Sex Pistols documentary "The Filth and the Fury."
Allow me to drift now to what has to be one of the more bizarre band appearances in television history. For decades the now late Dick Clark hosted a Saturday afternoon show called "American Band Stand." Essentially the show was kids dancing to whatever the hit songs were that week, and those same hit music artists would appear and lamely lip sync their hit. Pretty tame stuff.... for the most part.
One afternoon in 1980 however former Sex Pistols front man John Rotten, now going by his real name Lydon, appeared with his band Public Image Limited to "perform" two songs off their arty and inscrutable second album "Second Edition." ("Second Edition" was originally released as "Metal Box" as three 12" 45 rpm records housed in a film can.) Awash in dub, Krautrock, and Captain Beefheart skronk "Second Edition" is difficult listening indeed, but if you spend enough time with it you'll find it worming its way into your brain.
I could go on, but it's best that you just take it all in. Subversive? In the context of its time it was certainly. I'm not sure how this came about, but I suspect Clark, at his core a promoter, saw in it the value of publicity. Without further ado:
Cheers! See you at the Gateway. Happy hour at 7. Film at 8. $5 with proceeds to CD1025 For The Kids.