Today (10 March) the Sex Pistols' Glen Matlock publishes a new book looking back at his band's 1996 reunion. Boasting previously unseen photos and the bassist's recollections from the times, here's an exclusive extract from Glen Matlock's Sex Pistols Filthy Lucre Photofile on his up-and-down relationship with the band's manager Malcolm McLaren...
Not many bands had reformed at this stage, which is why we made it into the broadsheets and not just the music magazines. I never sat down and analysed how successful the tour would be, but I did think that it might be a big deal due to the number of people who had come up to me over the years and asked about it.
Someone asked me if playing with the Pistols was like putting on an old comfortable pair of shoes, and I said, 'Yes it is... but with a drawing pin in one of them.'
This time it was for the money, we said: well, when it came to what we earned from the Filthy Lucre tour, there was what we thought we were going to get beforehand, and then there was what we actually got afterwards when everyone had had their slice of it and we'd paid our taxes. We did all right: it was well worth doing, but I'm not telling you how much it was.
Ah, this is where the Pistols' old manager Malcolm McLaren said that we were being sent out like old dray horses before being put out to pasture. He felt left out, didn't he? Paul [Cook, drummer] told me a story about Malcolm. When we decided to get back together, Paul called him and said, 'How are you doing, Malcolm? We're going to reform. Do you want to manage us?' Malcolm said, 'Yes please!' and Paul said 'Well, you can't' and put the phone down. I don't know if that story is true, to this day.
Proving Malcolm wrong was one element of our motivation, but it wasn't the whole reason for doing it. He'd pretended that we were his puppets, and that he'd created us and that we were nothing without him, which was all untrue. We were claiming it back for ourselves, while getting paid and even better, getting paid without giving a slice of it to Malcolm, which must have hurt him, because he didn't get a penny from the Pistols. John took him to court after he used the royalties to make The Great Rock'N'Roll Swindle, and John was quite rightly annoyed about that, because it's just wrong to have money used for that reason without being asked. There was no verdict, because Malcolm retired from the case when he was going to lose and he couldn't afford to pay the costs. We were freed up to do a lot more things after that, because all the money was held in escrow by the lawyers. Nobody was dragging us out on tour: we were doing it of our own volition, so when Malcolm said that about dray horses, we just thought, 'The poor old fucker, he's jealous'.
I last saw Malcolm when I was in the States in 2009. I hadn't spoken to him for years, although I'd seen him about five years before that in a little restaurant around the corner from where I live. He was in the window of the restaurant, obviously freeloading a meal off some people. You only had to look and you could see what was going on. Anyway, I was walking down University Place in New York in 2009 and it was a gorgeous sunny day. Lo and behold, there's Malcolm coming down the street towards me with a girl who was holding a clipboard: she looked like some sort of intern from the University, but it transpired that she was his partner. Anyway, he didn't see me, so I said, 'Hello, Malcolm, how are you doing?' and he went, 'Oh! Matlock! What are you doing here? You're looking good! Um... Er...' and backed off. Maybe he thought I was going to land him one. And then a few months later I heard he was really ill.
I really didn't know what to think when I heard of his death in April 2010: I loved Malcolm when I first met him. I thought he was great, and a real pleasure to be with. But you have to remember that he sent a telegram to the NME in 1977 saying that I'd been sacked for liking The Beatles, and that was after he'd demanded a meeting, saying, 'Glen, I've made a big mistake, I think you should be the bass player, Sid Vicious is rubbish, blah blah, will you reconsider?' I said, 'Malcolm, don't. You played me wrong,' and we shook hands on it. That cost me millions of pounds, if you think about it.
I went to his funeral and I still don't know what to think. It was a very symbiotic relationship: without Malcolm, no-one would ever have heard of the Sex Pistols, and without the Sex Pistols, no-one would ever have heard of Malcolm McLaren.
For more, and to buy a copy, head to Forulicodex.com.