you rotter

Posted: June 11, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

Can it really be thirty five years since the Sex Pistols appeared on early evening TV and were goaded into being “outrageous” by Bill Grundy?  I still think Johnny Rotten using the word “rotter” was a seminal moment in British pop-culture.  Rotter?  Sounds like a riposte from Jeeves or Wooster rather than the man who some came to see as representative of declining morals in seventies Britain.  The suave Grundys laughable attempts to chat up Siouxisie Sioux remain comedy gold and her claim that she “had always wanted to meet” the brown suited, wide tied, middle aged current affairs frontman  seem to have spurred Grundy on to push for more “filth and fury” from the young pistols.  The Britain that the pistols railed against was very different from today; massive unemployment, litter strewn streets, huge class divides, strikes, work-to-rules and the bubbling-under feeling that youth had “no future”.  Punk cashed in on teenage alienation and rebellion and Rotten and many of his ilk became seriously rich on the back of the tartaned, mohaired, safety-pinned acolytes.  Youth movements grew slower back then; trends would take months to reach outlying towns and cities long after the originators had moved on.  Today?  Do youth cultures still exist a la mods, punks, rockers, new romantics and all the rest or have our young people become ubiquitous; same clothes, style and music?


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