Great interviews of the 20th century: The Sex Pistols interviewed by Bill Grundy

This interview is a transcript of Bill Grundy's interview with the Sex Pistols on December 1 1976, broadcast by Thames Television on the Today programme

The original Sex Pistols line-up are seated - from left to right as the camera sees them - Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock and Paul Cook. Bill Grundy, the Today show's presenter, sits to their left. Standing behind the Pistols are the punk hangers-on from the Bromley Contingent, Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, Simon Barker and "Simone". Grundy introduces the band to the cameras.
Grundy: [To camera] They are punk rockers. The new craze, they tell me. Their heroes? Not the nice, clean Rolling Stones ... you see they are as drunk as I am ... they are clean by comparison. They're a group called the Sex Pistols, and I am surrounded by all of them ...
Jones: [Reading the autocue] ... in action!
Grundy: Just let us see the Sex Pistols in action. Come on kids ...

[Film of the Sex Pistols in action is shown; then back to Grundy]

Grundy: I am told that that group [hits his knee with sheaf of papers] have received £40,000 from a record company. Doesn't that seem, er, to be slightly opposed to their anti-materialistic view of life?

Matlock: No, the more the merrier.

Grundy: Really?

Matlock: Oh yeah.

Grundy: Well tell me more then.

Jones: We've fuckin' spent it, ain't we?

Grundy: I don't know, have you?

Matlock: Yeah, it's all gone.

Grundy: Really?

Jones: Down the boozer.

Grundy: Really? Good Lord! Now I want to know one thing ...

Matlock: What?

Grundy: Are you serious or are you just making me ... trying to make me laugh?

Matlock: No, it's all gone. Gone.

Grundy: Really?

Matlock: Yeah.

Grundy: No, but I mean about what you're doing.

Matlock: Oh yeah.

Grundy: You are serious?

Matlock: Mmm.

Grundy: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Brahms have all died ...

Rotten: They're all heroes of ours, ain't they?

Grundy: Really ... what? What were you saying, sir?

Rotten: They're wonderful people.

Grundy: Are they?

Rotten: Oh yes! They really turn us on.

Jones: But they're dead!

Grundy: Well suppose they turn other people on?

Rotten: [Under his breath] That's just their tough shit.

Grundy: It's what?

Rotten: Nothing. A rude word. Next question.

Grundy: No, no, what was the rude word?

Rotten: Shit.

Grundy: Was it really? Good heavens, you frighten me to death.

Rotten: Oh alright, Siegfried ...

Grundy: [Turning to those standing behind the band] What about you girls behind?

Matlock: He's like yer dad, innee, this geezer?

Grundy: Are you, er ...

Matlock: Or your grandad.

Grundy: [To Sioux] Are you worried, or are you just enjoying yourself?

Sioux: Enjoying myself.

Grundy: Are you?

Sioux: Yeah.

Grundy: Ah, that's what I thought you were doing.

Sioux: I always wanted to meet you.

Grundy: Did you really?

Sioux: Yeah.

Grundy: We'll meet afterwards, shall we? [Sioux does a camp pout]

Jones: You dirty sod. You dirty old man!

Grundy: Well keep going, chief, keep going. Go on, you've got another five seconds. Say something outrageous.

Jones: You dirty bastard!

Grundy: Go on, again.

Jones: You dirty fucker! [Laughter from the group]

Grundy: What a clever boy!

Jones: What a fucking rotter.

Grundy: Well, that's it for tonight. The other rocker, Eamonn, and I'm saying nothing else about him, will be back tomorrow. I'll be seeing you soon, I hope. I'm not seeing you [the band] again. From me, though, goodnight.

[The signature tune plays and the credits roll. Rotten looks at his watch, Jones starts dancing to the music.]

· Reprinted by permission of Fremantle Media.

The GuardianTramp

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