Letter: The spawning of the Sex Pistols

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The Independent Online
From Mr Nigel Ayers

Sir: Eric Longley attributes the entire UK punk scene to the influence of the New York Dolls (letter, 28 August). Nonsense!

The New York Dolls dressed and sounded very much like the (rather more famous and earlier) Rolling Stones. When managed by Malcolm McLaren, the Dolls tried and failed to break into the English glam rock scene.

The Sex Pistols, however, were more musically knowledgeable and, as well as performing their own material, covered songs by English groups, the Small Faces and The Who, as well as Americans Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and Iggy Pop - all who pre-date (and out-punk) the New York Dolls.

The Sex Pistols hits "God Save The Queen" and "Anarchy in the UK" and the media theatricals that went with them were inspired by the London anarchist squatter scene, Carry On films, Steptoe and Son and the Sun newspaper. They became so popular because they wittily addressed a youth suffering from economic recession, mass unemployment and the class system.

All the best,

Nigel Ayers



28 August