Bollocks Buses

US Tour Press Release

Surmounting problems that would have stopped most bands in their tracks, The Sex Pistols made their belated American debut last Thursday night in Atlanta. Despite a somewhat belligerent local press (with a notable exception of Walter Dawson of the Memphis Commerical Appeal) in Atlanta, Memphis and San Antonio, whose pre-concert stores might be summed up "Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here's The Bollocks," the Pistols succeeded not only in living up to the expectations of their fans but in winning over more than a few new fans as well. In our admittedly subjective viewpoint, the first three dates by The Sex Pistols in America were nothing short of triumphant, with the band proving themselves to have all the raw charismatic energy we'd heard about and Johnny Rotten mesmerizing audiences with sneers, stares, screams and a great dose of what can only be termed punk charm. Here is a rundown from each city:

Atlanta - A Rainy Night In Georgia

The Pistols spend a quiet day-and-a-half prior to their debut, granting a few interviews (most notably to Time and Newsweek) while hordes of British journalists scurry around the hotel lobby starting, spreading and squelching various rumors.... Channel 2 in Atlanta (WSB) reports the group as 1) having green hair, 2) vomiting and committing sexual acts on one another as part of their show, and 3) heading for Houston after the Atlanta date... Alex Cooley's Great Southeast Music Hall is packed to the gills minutes after the doors open at 7:00 p.m..Among those in attendance are 5 television crews, approximately 50 members of the press (including such notables as John Rockwell, Bob Christgau, Wayne Robins, Kit Rachlis, Tony Schwartz and Roger Wolmuth), several police officers and vice squads from both Atlanta and Memphis.... A local band called Cruisomatic opens, primarily doing cover versions of early rock and punk standards (to our ears, they are louder than the Pistols will be later, which is not very loud, contrary to what the Atlanta papers said the next day)..The rain is coming down pretty hard by the time the Pistols go on at about 10:15 p.m.; Rotten asks, "Where's My Beer?"... "You can all stop staring at us now," Rotten says after opening with "God Save the Queen," "We're ugly and we know it... See what kind of fine upstanding youth England is chucking out these days?"..About 60% of the audience is standing and doing an Americanized version of the Pogo throughout, 20% of the audience is nasty, yelling yelling and throwing things at the band, and 20% of the crowd clearly does not know what on earth is going on..A mighty blow is struck for Punk Rock!!

- Farmers, Lightning, Elvis and Pistols

An average day in Memphis: a caravan of tractors, carrying farmers fresh from their protest in Plains, Georgia, file through town in the morning, at about the same time as the plane carrying 3/4 of the Sex Pistols (Sid Vicious had disappeared earlier, to be found at a hospital with a nasty cut in his arm) was struck by lightning after takeoff from Atlanta. According to Warner Bros. Carl Scott who was on board, "I was scared." ........While a film festival commemorating Elvis Presley's 43rd birthday is kicking off downtown, Fire Marshalls inspect the Taliesyn Ballroom and order the seats (which had been removed in accordance with the Sex Pistols' wishes, as they were in every other city) to be replaced. This takes up a lot of room and it is the Fire Marshalls' decision to allow only 700 people into the hall that night. The only problem is that 900 tickets have been sold... While the opening act, Quo Jr. is meeting with grand indifference inside the hall, approximately 200 people are standing outside locked doors, waving tickets, screaming and beating on the windows, a couple of which are soon broken. The near-riot is broken up when police reinforcements arrive en masse outside the hall and 'persuade' the crowd to go home and hold on to their tickets for refunds. Several press people are among those left out in the cold..After a delay, the Pistols hit the stage... the audience breaks down again into 60% for, 20% against, 20% in the zone, but more objects seem to be flying at the band, causing Rotten to scream, "I'm not here for your amusement, you're here for mine. So behave yourselves and don't throw things at me. I don't like it." The antagonists now recoiled in horror, Rotten and Co. are free to complete their set... Uncharacteristically, the Pistols oblige the stomping at the end of the show with an encore, and Rotten does "No Feelings," growling out the lyrics from a crouching position... The band hops on their bus, picks up their bags and head for San Antonio...

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