Sex Pistols

I Wanna Be Me

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Pub Date 15 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 10 Aug 2022

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This definitive history of the Sex Pistols includes over 150 color and b/w photos and is published to coincide with the forthcoming 6-part series, Pistol, created by Danny Boyle, which will be released in 2022

Amidst the chaos that was the Sex Pistols, it's often forgotten just what a powerful band they were, and what great records they made. The Sex Pistols were no ordinary group. Their story might be short, and not without its casualties, but their legacy is undoubted; one listen to their ferocious, raw rock and roll will soon tell you that. Without them, popular culture in the last 30+ years would be very, very different. The Pistols didn't just kick down doors; they trashed the music industry's house. For a band who (really) only released one album and four incandescent singles – "Anarchy in the U.K.", "God Save the Queen", "Pretty Vacant" and "Holidays in the Sun" - they gave birth to a sea of imitators and inspired a DIY aesthetic still alive today. Not bad for a band that 'couldn't play'. Despite claims from New York, the Sex Pistols were the true originators of punk; no one else had their attitude, balls, or honesty - as inspired by anger and poverty, as art and poetry. There was the Sex Pistols and there was the rest. The Sex Pistols ARE punk; the rest are 'punk rock'.
This definitive history of the Sex Pistols includes over 150 color and b/w photos and is published to coincide with the forthcoming 6-part series, Pistol, created by Danny Boyle, which will be...

A Note From the Publisher

US PUBLICATION: November 15, 2022

US PUBLICATION: November 15, 2022

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781786751249
PRICE £25.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 8 members

Featured Reviews

This is a must-have for fans of punk rock music!
In hardback format it features 150 iconic photographs of the Sex Pistols, accompanied by detailed description of their background and rise to fame.

Being in my early  40s I was too young to remember a lot of  the band's history. However, i've grown up with the music and have always enjoyed it! Having recently watched the Danny Boyle tv drama series "Pistol" this book was a fascinating read and gave more detail on the events covered.

The text is detailed but it is split up by the photographs and punk font style headings, so is good to dip in and out of!

This book would make a great gift for a music lover (I may treat myself to a copy for my birthday!)

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Sex Pistols: I Wanna Be Me by Dave Simpson pleasantly surprised me both with what I learned and with the nostalgia I experienced reading it.

When I first saw the book and the layout, I expected a fun book but one geared mostly toward the worn-out stories and sensationalized style. I would have enjoyed that book even though I would have wished for something more. Instead, I got that something more. No, this isn't an overly detailed book that delves into every possible nuance, but it does try to understand how and why the Sex Pistols erupted when they did and also why their influence far surpasses their short history. In other words, I got the fun of a picture-rich book with just enough meat to keep this from being just another sensationalized account.

While I heard about them during visits to the UK during this time my experience of them, like many Americans, is largely distant and slightly late. That doesn't keep this from bringing back many memories of both their music and the various scenes they influenced over the years.

Any genre or major subgenre of music is a response to the society and culture within which it develops. In the case of punk one needs to at least have some understanding of what was happening around them and why this would be a result. Simpson, without getting too bogged down in it, brings these things to the fore and makes the creation of the Sex Pistols an almost inevitability.

Yet he doesn't neglect the music, even nodding to those who said they couldn't play. No, these guys weren't virtuosos at the time, but they created a sound, some would say a noise, that spoke to a large portion of the younger members of society. The right noise at the right time without being fake for the purpose of capitalizing on it. In retrospect, they make perfect sense.

Highly recommended for punk fans (any incarnation), music history buffs, and cultural history readers. While not containing much of what would be called theory it is ripe for a theoretical approach.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

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Burning briefly but brightly! Love them or loathe them, the Sex Pistols wrote music history.
This book features some interesting trivia: Pretty Vacant based on Abba’s SOS? Sex Pistols getting their first TV appearance due to Freddie Mercury’s toothache? Timothy Spall going to school with Johnny Rotten? And Sid Vicious was named after a hamster?
With its artwork, the lavish illustration, the insight into the scene, this is pure genius. A screaming rotting bible to punk rock!

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A must-have for Sex Pistols fans and for fans of the punk rock scene, in general. Informative, detailed, full of photographs and the iconic font style headings, Simpson's book is an experience.

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