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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 120
Tues. May 8, 2012

“Submission”
Sex Pistols
1977

“♫ Submission/ I can’t tell ya what I’ve found […] ♫”

Like most, my admiration for the Sex Pistols began as a teenager in San Antonio. I was amazed that the Pistols actually played in San Antonio’s Randy’s Rodeo, now a Tejano club called Randy’s Ballroom. Rumor has it that the Pistols show was all out sonic assault pitting The Pistols vs. cowboys, bikers, beer drinking and bottle throwing Texans who turned Randy’s into a warzone. The Randy’s show is chronicled in the brilliantly, hilarious account of the Pistols ill-fated American tour in Noel Monk with Jimmy Gutterman’s book 12 Days on the Road with The Sex Pistols. It’s a fascinating read and worth every penny.

I’m actually getting back into the Pistols, again. You can thank my 1970’s resurrection. I’m in the middle of finishing up portfolios, statements of purpose, writing, editing, printing, you name it—it’s that time of the year. Ask any writer, trying beat deadlines, editing by trying to submit and apply to various contests and programs is quite stressful. To get over the whispers of trepidation that come creeping in before I begin, I was searching for a spark of inspiration. What better song to help me submit than The Sex Pistols—“Submission—” get it? I know… but my confidence was cranked up, past eleven, and most importantly – it worked

Of course, you realize, the original intention of the song was a request by manager Malcolm McLaren for The Pistols to pen an S & M song. So Glen Mattock, the original bassist, and singer Johnny Rotten went to a pub to clear the air. Matlock was a more seasoned musician and his love of Beatle-chords a source of constant ire to his Pistols punker band mates.

Watch this clip of Matlock explaining how The Pistols wrote “Submission:”

At the bar, Rotten and Matlock were given twenty quid by McLaren, from Clinton Heylin’s book: Never Mind The Bollocks: Classic Rock Albums, Johnny explained:
We got drunk and put our differences aside. [Actually] The Doors were a common ground—we found a band, shockingly, we both liked.” I never realized the Doors help inspire The Sex Pistols.

Was “Submission” a twisted Pistols homage to Yellow Submarine? Maybe, What I do know is that “Submission” helped me get organized, focused and in a positive and proactive mood. Who knew that Punk Rock could be such a creative inspiration?

So please don’t roll eyes if you hear someone over seventeen listening to the Sex Pistols. It may be the spark they’re looking for to set their creative juices in motion. Plug in. Rock on! Long live The Pistols.

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