EMI Sign Sex Pistols
The punk phenomenon , in Britain at least, was something that began away from record labels, A&R men, and the conventional music scene. That was the point; a reaction to the increasingly bland world of 10 minute guitar solos, articulated trucks full of keyboards, concept albums and over-production that had bound the rebellious and spontaneous soul of rock in 24-track recording tape. And then The Sex Pistols signed to EMI.
EMI would doubtless deny it, but it was the band members and particularly their manager Malcolm McLaren who were in the driving seat, in part because they didn’t seem to care what the neighbours would say, but also because McLaren was a brilliant operator. The reported fee of £40,000 for a two-year recording contract was at the time big money. It bought EMI one single – Anarchy in the UK – and a lot of adverse publicity.
On December 1 the same year the band was interviewed on regional TV by Bill Grundy. The swearing of John Lydon and Steve Jones created a furore. In early January 1977 EMI severed ties with the group: a blink-and-miss-it spell with A&M followed before they joined Virgin for a rather longer and more productive period.