Odds and quads

January 7, 2010

Although unauthorised by English Heritage, this blue plaque marks the site of the infamous gig that marked the birth of UK punk rock.

In 1975, the Sex Pistols were formed by singer Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock.

Because Matlock was studying at St Martins School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design), it was at the school's Charing Cross Road site that the Pistols first appeared in public, supporting a pub band called Bazooka Joe.

Their performance was loud, baffling and completely unmusical, according to observers. Bazooka Joe pulled the plug after 20 minutes because they thought their equipment was being trashed, leading to a brief onstage fight.

Matlock soon left or was expelled from the band - allegedly because he "liked the Beatles" or was "always washing his feet" - and was replaced by Sid Vicious.

Yet, on the 30th anniversary of the event that launched the Sex Pistols, Matlock returned to Central Saint Martins to unveil this plaque.

Send suggestions for this series on the sector's treasures, oddities and curiosities to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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