Sex Pistols Spurned 2012 Olympic Appearance Because Of Bizarre Gaffe By Organizers

The Sex Pistols, Britain’s legendary punk rock band who — albeit reluctantly — led a musical uprising that upended the U.K. cultural landscape in the mid 1970s, were offered a chance to reunite at the 2012 London Olympics. But the aging punk rockers, now all pushing 60, turned down the proposition because the organizers made a bizarre gaffe, according to the band’s original bass player.

“I heard that they wanted The Who to do it, they wanted Keith Moon to perform. But he’s only been dead 20 years,” said Glen Matlock, one of the four original Sex Pistols from 1975 to 1977, when he was replaced on bass guitar by John Ritchie aka Sid Vicious.

Sex Pistols

“They had asked us to perform but the story about Keith Moon and The Who didn’t help their pitch to us,” Matlock said in a recent interview. “That was one of the reasons we said ‘no.'”

Matlock was a little off in his recollections of Keith Moon. The Who drummer died of a prescription drug overdose in 1978, not 20 years before the London Olympics, but 34.

But at least Matlock knew that Moon was, in fact, dead — an unfortunate fact that the London Olympics organizers apparently missed, according to the 57-year-old ex-Sex Pistol.

The Sex Pistols have reformed twice since their spectacular breakup following a bizarre tour of the United States, during which they performed almost exclusively in country music bars throughout the American south, in 1978.

Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979, so when the Sex Pistols got back together for a 1996 tour, and again in 2008, they invited Matlock to rejoin the band he helped to found. Unlike Ritchie aka Vicious who never fully learned how to play the bass, Glen Matlock was, and remains, a proficient musician.

Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols
Former Sex Pistols bass player Glen Matlock, as he appears today at age 57.

But Matlock said that the Sex Pistols are unlikely to ever perform together again.

“There is nothing I know of in the offing and I’m really not that fussed about it,” said Matlock, who is set to perform his one-man theatrical show I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “I have no idea if we will reform but who knows the secret of black magic box. I wouldn’t write new Sex Pistols material, we’re fine with the old stuff.”

Matlock also noted that he has not even spoken to Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten, for at least five years — and he says that he is “quite happy about that.”

When Matlock quit The Sex Pistols in 1977, it became clear that he and Lydon simply did not like one another.

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