The Marquee Club - A tribute site dedicated to the history of the legendary Marquee club at London's 90 Wardour street.

Sex Pistols by Mike Thorne

"Reflecting the music of the early seventies, A&R had fallen into some unadventurous routines, which I tried to follow after looking around in a desperate newbie attempt to figure out how to fit in. The old boy network was cozily in place, and most hard work seemed to be lifting drinks at the Marquee club on Wardour Street (tired) or the Speakeasy on Margaret Street (well past the sell-by date, but open late and a collision zone between new and old rock+roll characters). I tried on the schmoozing routine for size for a few weeks. It didn?t really fit, so I started following my innocent nose toward music that seemed to work.

Although obsessed with music, I never listened to radio and rarely read the [music weekly magazine] comics (with the occasional, honorable exception of the then-articulate NME). So I hadn?t even seen the front-cover Melody Maker picture of the Pistols, which had impressed the business but had not moved them towards appreciating the group's music and stance. But I was the one who picked up the phone to Malcolm McLaren, their manager, and went to the now-legendary 100 Club two-day ?festival? of punk rock'. I arrived to see the Sex Pistols after checking out Giggles at the Marquee (managed by Tom Watson who would later guide the Pet Shop Boys: tiny world). Oddly, even though Giggles were an energetic (but rather contrived pop band), their style of delivering simple, direct, non-sentimental songs was not too removed from the Pistols'.

If remembering correctly, I couldn?t persuade any colleagues to stagger over to Oxford Street from the Marquee at the bottom of Wardour Street. At this distance, I can?t remember the other groups? performances, even though they included future luminaries I would get to know like the Damned and Siouxsie and the Banshees. But I do remember the Pistols as being immediate and challenging. They were on home ground, and the 100 Club would feature them nine times in 1976, ending after which they became publicly too outrageous and the favorite demons of the tabloid press."

Mike Thorne of EMI Records
www.stereosociety.com, March 2002.