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Glen Matlock

Bassist of the the Sex Pistols

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Glen Matlock

While working at Malcolm McLaren’s clothes shop ‘Let It Rock’ in 1974 Glen met budding musicians Steve Jones and Paul Cook. Glen had already mentioned to Malcolm he’d started playing bass. Malcolm knew Steve and Paul were on the look out for a reliable bass player and suggested Glen…

The band rehearsed and rehearsed but it wasn’t until John Lydon joined them in 1975 that things really got serious. Much has been made of the relationship between John and Glen – and although they were always the proverbial “chalk and cheese” – outside elements definitely conspired to pull the pair apart. Glen officially left by “mutual consent” in February 1977, with Malcolm McLaren then claiming he was sacked because “He liked the Beatles.”

Glen dusted himself down and together with Steve New (guitar), Midge Ure (vocals) & Rusty Egan (drums) formed the Rich Kids signing to the Sex Pistols archenemies EMI Records in early 1977. Rich Kids had a self-titled Top 25 hit the following year; and also released the album ‘Ghosts of Princes in Towers’ in August 1978; before petering out shortly after.

After the Sex Pistols split in 1978 Glen and his replacement Sid Vicious played together as part of The Vicious White Kids; a one-off live band – also featuring Steve New and Rat Scabbies (Damned) – Glen played bass while Sid sang lead vocals. An official CD of the concert was later released in 1993.

Glen then appeared with Iggy Pop, touring throughout 1979 and playing on his ‘Soldier’ album; also writing the track ‘Ambition’. The 80’s saw Glen struggle to throw off the shadow of the Sex Pistols drifting from one band to the next. He published the autobiography ‘I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol’ in 1990 and began rebuilding his musical career with his own band The Mavericks (not to be confused with the American band of the same name).

He later guested on records by the likes of Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople), Frank Black (Pixies) and Primal Scream before signing to Alan McGee’s Creation Records in 1995. Releasing his first-ever solo album ‘Who’s He Think He Is When He’s At Home’ the following year. 1996 also saw Glen team up with the reunited Sex Pistols on the ‘Filthy Lucre’ world tour. Almost 20 years after they last played together the original Pistols were back.

From 2001 to 2005 Glen was a member of Dead Men Walking, a live “supergroup” which included members of The Cult, Stray Cats and The Alarm. The band issued two live albums and built up a cult following throughout the UK. In 2011 Glen formed The International Swingers together with Clem Burke (Blondie), James Stevenson (Chelsea) and Gary Twinn. The band released the album ‘Whatever Works Now’ in 2015.

As well as regularly playing solo shows, Glen also fronts his own band The Philistines who’s floating line-up has included long-time collaborator James Stevenson, Chris Musto (Johnny Thunders) and Ray McVeigh (Professionals). Their fourth album ‘Born Running’ was released in 2010. ‘Good to Go’ Glen’s second solo album was released in 2018. He continues to tour world wide.

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