Tales of Rock – What Happened When the Sex Pistols Threw a Christmas Party

A new book showcases a collection of photos that captures the band’s last concert in England—they were in their pomp, on their mission, and fully charged.

The Sex Pistols, avatars of sociopathy, threw an afternoon Christmas party for the families of firefighters on strike. What could be nicer?

By the end of 1977 the Sex Pistols were so drenched in notoriety that, as a band, they could barely function. Punk rock, originally an American import, had activated the imagination of Great Britain at a hysterical, medieval level, and the Pistols—swearing on live TV, getting to Number 1 with the banned single “God Save The Queen” (She ain’t no human being!)—were overnight bogeymen. Pale and twisted, neurally disenfranchised but making a huge, thick, derisive, airwave-jamming noise, they seemed to have limped out of the psychic shadows and seized power. The frontman Johnny Rotten would hang off the mic stand like a licentious scarecrow; the new bassist Sid Vicious, his long limbs clanging, was an icon continually in the process of dismantling itself—a human Jean Tinguely sculpture. Their manager Malcolm McLaren, meanwhile, had an agenda for uproar and no interest whatsoever in the well-being of his charges; for over a year, his provocations and imbroglios had kept the band on the front pages of a gratefully disgusted tabloid press.

And they had reaped the whirlwind: In June, in two separate attacks, Rotten was slashed with a razor and the drummer Paul Cook was beaten with an iron bar. Now, in the depths of winter, a projected U.K. tour had collapsed as the burghers of one municipality after another—local councilmen and members of Parliament—rose up with quivering jowls to denounce, reject, and foreclose these leering scapegoats. Nowhere to play.

Except for Huddersfield. On Christmas Day. At a venue called Ivanhoe’s, in a market town in West Yorkshire, the Sex Pistols would play a benefit show for the Fire Brigades Union, which had recently called its members out on strike in pursuit of a 30 percent wage increase. This was a very McLaren-esque piece of business: The Sex Pistols, avatars of sociopathy, would throw an afternoon Christmas party for the families of striking firefighters. Gifts, games, a cake, a performance, t-shirts for the children. What could be nicer? What could be worthier? Then they would play a second set for their fans.

The first show, the one for the kids, was extraordinary enough. Thank God we have the footage. Pre-teens with soft 1970s hair bounce and jive unselfconsciously, and with even a strange solemnity, as the band rips in gusts of joy through “God Save The Queen” and “Anarchy in the U.K.” No future for YEEEEEW! “Bodies”—She was a girl from Birming-HAM-uh / She’d just had an a-BOR-tion-ah!—acquires the pure and vicious resonance of a playground chant. The kids take the mic, sing along to the chorus: Mum-my! I’m not an animal! Johnny Rotten mashes his face into the Christmas cake during “Pretty Vacant.” The kids wave flags. Credit here the unscrupulous McLaren and his nose for the carnivalesque. An event this wholesomely riotous, this innocently lawless and punk-rock-paradoxical, if it happened today … well, it wouldn’t happen. It would be held in an art gallery.

But it’s the second set, for the grown-ups, that concerns us here. Sex Pistols: The End Is Near 25.12.77 collects the in-show shots of the photographer Kevin Cummins, who was covering the concert for New Musical Express. That afternoon, at his parents’ house, Cummins had committed small-scale anarchy by getting up and leaving in the middle of Christmas lunch. This meant that he was also skipping the Queen’s televised speech, traditionally watched with boozy fealty by every single person in the country. “My father didn’t speak to me for at least three weeks,” he writes in his introduction.


No one, not even the ferally alert McLaren, knew it at the time, but this was the last show the Sex Pistols would play in England. Days after the Huddersfield show they would leave for a short, fiasco-filled tour of the U.S., a jaunt across the un-punk-rock South (Atlanta, Memphis, San Antonio, Baton Rouge) that was essentially an extended act of incitement. The band, as an entity, would not survive it. In less than three weeks, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, the Sex Pistols would explode, fall to bits, end. “Oh bollocks. Why should I carry on?” asked Rotten, pertinently, in the middle of a half-hearted assault on the Stooges’ “No Fun.” All of which adds a film of wistful irony to the power of Cummins’s photographs from Ivanhoe’s, because here are the Pistols in their pomp, on their mission, fully charged.

The images, from this distance, have an almost fairytale familiarity. Rotten, pint in hand, his hair still matted with cake icing, grins and writhes Uriah Heep-ishly, twisting his body to accommodate the demonic projections of the English unconscious. Steve Jones is slouched red-eyed over his guitar, raffishly infusing his glam rock mega-chords with Chuck Berry’s momentum and heavy metal crunch. Sid Vicious, soon to be infamous, soon to be dead, bass slung super-low, looks like a drawing from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: His small scowling features are etched blackly onto an empty white face. He’s there and he’s not there, an accident that might have already happened. (McLaren would later characterize Sid’s aura as a “halo of anarchy.”) The current of the performance never seems to slacken. Cummins’s lens catches the band in no instants of shapelessness or non-Sex-Pistols-ness; their art possesses them at all times. Cook, the band’s thunderous timekeeper, is hardly represented, but maybe that’s appropriate; the drummer should be a kind of nonentity. (What a superbly physical drummer he was, though, Paul Cook. His whole kit would quake like the ribcage of some enormous, panting animal).

Towards the end of the show, the end of the reel, Rotten puts on a beret. It suits him, giving him a ghoulish sort of Parisian presence—he looks arty, he looks Left Bank. And there was this weird French strain to the Sex Pistols’ enterprise. McLaren was, or thought he was, or said he was, a devout reader of Guy Debord: all of his various art-acts were somewhere between pop mania and Situationist disruption-of-the-spectacle. But the Pistols were also a rock ‘n’ roll band, a very good one. Left to themselves, who knows what they might have achieved?

The die, however, was cast. The great music writer Paul Morley, in the foreword of The End Is Near that appears to have taken him about 10 minutes to write (although 10 minutes of Paul Morley is worth three weeks of [insert name of the writer]), makes the point that by late 1977 the Sex Pistols had already become “as much a part of British history as Churchill, the Royal Mail post boxes, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare.” They had become more than a band, less than a band—something else. So look upon these images from Huddersfield, and remember them this way: at the depth of ignominy, at the height of glory, making their music.

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Hot Girl On Tinder Might Be A Hooker

Escort reveals she uses the dating app to find prospective clients

LIKE millions of single women, Lilly Chatte flicks through the Tinder dating
app on her phone hoping to find men in her area.

But she is not looking for a new boyfriend, she’s on the hunt for customers.
Single men willing to pay her for sex.

The university student, 22, is one of a growing number of prostitutes to use
Tinder to find clients and claims to have made £10,000 through the app in
the five months she’s been on the game.

Lilly — not her real name — says: “Men will always pay for sex. All the men I’ve met on Tinder solely want to meet for sex, they don’t want to date.

“I charge $60 for 15 minutes, $80 for 30 minutes, and $100 for an hour. I’m making so much money now I work out of a hotel.

“On a busy day, I entertain up to ten men within 24 hours, but usually just
three or four.”

Tinder has changed the face of online dating in the past few years and now
boasts more than 450 million profiles worldwide.

The app offers users the chance to meet fellow singles living nearby and
analyzes their Facebook profiles to find potential matches.

Those using the app are then presented with candidates and swipe right on
their smartphone screen to approve and left to reject.

If both parties approve of one another, they are then able to chat and arrange a date.

But Lilly says many of the men she meets are not looking for a meal out or a
trip to the cinema — with 50 percent of her matches becoming paying clients.

She adds: “I signed up to an adult website and then heard about Tinder through another escort. I didn’t realize it attracted guys who were willing to pay for dates.

“Studying isn’t cheap so I decided to take up escorting part-time as a quick
and easy way to subsidize my course.

“I make it clear that I am an escort very quickly when communicating with men on Tinder and very few have been shocked enough to stop contact.

“Many say that they have never paid for sex before, but when I tell them my
prices they are often still interested.”

Lilly’s Tinder profile strapline describes her as a “nice friendly girl who is
looking for some fun”. It adds: “If you want to spend hot time together, you
found the right person.”

She says: “I figured somewhere within my description of myself guys would
realize I was willing to provide services, as opposed to dating for free.

“Sure enough, within just a few minutes of setting up my profile, I had guys
asking whether I’d be willing to meet up.

“I didn’t mess around, I just told them straight that I didn’t date for free
and the next day I had my first paying client.

“If the guy wants something kinky, I charge more. I get over $1,000 for
overnight bookings and up to $3,000 for weekends away.

“If someone wants me to go to their house or hotel, it’s $130.”

Tinder Dating App logo

One bonus of using Tinder, Lilly says, is that because it grabs information
from Facebook, the app will tell her if she shares any mutual friends with a
potential client – helping to avoid awkward situations.

She explains: “Most guys just want some no strings adult fun and book me for an hour or two.

“Tinder is really handy for this because it sources singles who live near you,
so guys don’t have to travel far to come and meet me for a short period of
time. When I book in clients through the adult site they’re normally married
and I feel really bad for their wives.

“That’s not nice, so I try to stick to Tinder.”

But Lilly, from Gatwick, West Sussex, admits that using the app to find
punters have brought some odd people into her bed.

She adds: “One guy arrived with a knife and a bin bag and asked if he could
cut me up and put my body parts in the bag.

“Thankfully he left quietly when I insisted he made a swift exit.

“Some guys arrive with drugs on them, in which case I politely ask them to
leave immediately.

“Another client complained he hadn’t had his full hour’s worth and threatened to phone his mum. I just had to laugh.” Despite those encounters, Lilly says she has met some “really great guys” using Tinder, but she insists that she is not yet ready to find herself a steady relationship.

She says: “If I were to settle down and meet a proper boyfriend on a dating
site I’d get bored within a few weeks and I’d want to start playing the
field and experimenting again.

“The guys that come to see me know exactly what they’re getting and leave
satisfied, that’s more than most men can say after a Tinder date.”

Tinder did not respond to our requests for comment.

Tinder conversation

‘I get what I want and no dates’

STUDENT Mark, 22, has been a prolific Tinder user since splitting with his
last girlfriend earlier this year — and has also hooked up with more than
one prostitute, he met through the app.

He says: “I’ve not been interested in relationships since my last girlfriend
dumped me. I did try some dating sites, but I had no success.

“One of my best pals told me about Tinder and I found it much more useful
right from the start. It was light-hearted, welcoming, and also very
addictive. I found myself browsing all night when I first joined.

“I’ve met up with a few girls from Tinder so far, but the first experience was
a wee bit awkward as the girl I’d been chatting to was an escort.

“When I first met her online she was very friendly and fun-loving, and there was a real sexual spark between us.

“We told each other all about ourselves, exchanged numbers, and then she
mentioned that she was an escort. Just like that.

“At first I was so gutted, but on the other hand, I had wanted to try new
things. That was part of the reason I joined the site in the first place.

“I didn’t want to visit prostitutes, so meeting someone I knew more about but still strictly for ‘business’ was a perfect option for me — and it was one
of the most monumental sexual experiences, I’ve ever had.

I enjoyed my time with her so much I have continued to see her whenever I can, normally once a month. We keep in touch on a weekly basis and she sends me photos from her holidays.

“There is another escort I met on Tinder who I see every so often. But I
wouldn’t want to visit more than two girls at any one time because even
though I’m paying for their services, I do feel you develop a relationship.

“I’d say I’ve spent almost $2,000 on hookers so far, but I don’t mind as I
know I’ll get what I want and there are no boring dates or awkward silences.”


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Exactly What Happens When You Leave A Toxic Relationship

A much better life is waiting for you.

A toxic relationship really brings you down.

You might find it hard to believe that unhealthy relationships can lead to anything good. The truth is that the relationship problems you encounter when you’re with a toxic person might make you feel helpless at the moment. But once you leave a toxic relationship, you will reap the benefits.

Here are eight surprising upsides of leaving your toxic relationship.

1. You rediscover your passions.

Toxic relationships kill your enthusiasm.

When you’re in a draining relationship, you only focus on fixing what is actually hopeless, instead of pursuing what you want.

When you finally breakthrough, you rediscover your favorite pastimes and passion projects.

This, in turn, provides an emotional outlet and helps you move on from your relationship more quickly.

2. You reconnect with family and friends who really love you.

Unhealthy relationships cause us to disconnect from others.

But when your relationship ends, you run to family and friends and realize that they were waiting for you.

They’ve been with you all along, so don’t take them for granted.

3. You appreciate the little things even more.

Whether you’re celebrating a treat from a colleague or a text message from your best friend, you find yourself cherishing every moment of the day.

After you’ve spent so much time suffering and in pain, you now know what true gratitude means.

4. You regain your mental and physical health.

Your toxic relationship most likely affected your health.

So, as your post-relationship self-care, you focus on your mental, physical, and spiritual health.

You find yourself fighting to regain the wellness that your ex deprived you of.

Maybe you head to the gym and eat more healthily.

Perhaps you simply put yourself first and enjoy relaxing again.

Regardless, you find that as you focus on your health and wellness, you start to feel whole again.

5. You enjoy your newfound independence.

You once saw the single life as lonely, but now you view it as an independent.

What’s more, you see your newfound independence as a sign of bravery, wholeness, strength, and wisdom.

You revel in it because you no longer attach your happiness to someone else.

You’re proud to be self-sufficient because it takes a lot to master the art of freeing yourself from others.

6. You gain the ability to empathize with people who are hurting.

Now that you understand heartache firsthand, you sincerely care about the pain of others.

You become more sensitive and empathetic.

You are not afraid to share your story in order to give people hope.

7. You thrive more fruitfully in your career.

You realize that investing your energy in your work provides more rewards than any other person can.

A fulfilling career gives you the home and the life you want and it doesn’t require that you depend on anyone else.

Therefore, you prioritize your career aspirations over any potential love interests.

8. You reinvent yourself.

You try out new things because you can.

Maybe you cut your hair, try higher stilettos, travel more often, cook complicated dishes, or enjoy risky adventures.

As you change, you discover that reinventing yourself is the best way to heal.

Instead of giving up on yourself, you reinvent yourself and find that better things lie ahead.

If you’re coming out of a toxic relationship and life feels overwhelming, never fear.

Life may be difficult now, but the benefits you’ll take from your healing process will be worth the struggle.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Back The Tracks – Part 4 – Railroad Detective

One afternoon I was with my friend Paul, and we were walking around the woods and the train tracks. Whenever a freight train went past we’d always throw stones at the boxcars just to see if we could hit them and watch them bounce off. That one boxcar is 30 tons. That’s 60,000 pounds. A rock hitting that is like a fly bouncing off a car door. I’ve touched a boxcar close up. It feels like a stone wall.

We had entered the tracks by way of Passmore street. Passmore was a little street that had a steep incline that ended in a roundabout at the bottom. Beyond the end of the street was a stone wall. You could climb over the wall to the right next to where a fence began. Once over the wall, you could see the railroad tracks. But if you looked to your left there was an embankment that led down to some sort of water drainage area. The water was shallow and full of rocks. There was a stone tunnel that went under the tracks and led off to a large, round stone pit. You’d see the occasional rat running around back there in the rocks. Beyond that was the woods that led through to Tookany Creek.

After doing a little bit of research, I found out that the word “Tookany” is actually derived from “Tacony,” which is derived from the term “Towacawonick,” which means “uninhabited place” or “woods” in the language of the Lenni Lenape American Indians (Unami Language) The place we all played was once inhabited by people that had been here for a long time before our ancestors ever arrived here. I always wondered what those kids were like.

Think of this sort of tunnel but with shallow water running through it.

Bridgehunter.com | BO - Tunnel No. 6

None of us knew why it was there. I’m assuming that maybe because Passmore street ended in a steep hill, it was once used for drainage and sewage removal many years ago.

There were all sorts of graffiti on the walls and bits of detritus everywhere. My all-time favorite bit of graffiti sprayed on that wall was the following joke:

“Dick Hertz was here.”

“Who’s Dick Hertz?”

“Mine does.”

I’d seen graffiti before but I always liked that someone took the time to write something funny that would give boys a chuckle whenever they came through the area.

I remember one night, Buddy Drew, (I’m pretty sure he lived on Passmore street) came running up to us and told us to come and see something wonderful happening on his street. My friend Michael and I walked over there in the rain. Parked on the corner of Passmore and Newtown Avenue was a long black limousine. I looked in through the tinted window and could see an 8 track tape of Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti in the player. We peeked through the bushes of the house where Buddy told us the magic was happening. I could see the celebrity through the window chatting with his cousin, (or, sister?)Miss Tallerico.

It was Steven Tyler.

Anyway… back to the story.

So we’re throwing rocks and just doing the things boys do. But one of the unspoken rules was that no one I knew would ever throw a rock at a passenger train. We just didn’t do it for obvious reasons.

I remember my mother telling me once she was sitting on the train one day headed into the city when she suddenly heard a loud bang, and when she looked down her whole lap was covered in tiny bits of broken glass. Passenger train windows are like automobile windows in that respect. They don’t shatter creating big pieces because they’re a piece of transparent tough flexible plastic inside the window. So if it breaks it busts into little nonlethal bits and the window technically doesn’t break a hole in it. Some idiot obviously threw a rock and that was the outcome. So stone-throwing at passenger trains was a big no-no in my neighborhood. It just wasn’t a cool thing to do because somebody could get hurt.

So, later we returned back to the treehouse at the end of the lot near my house. We just sat there doing our thing. Paul had to go home so he ended up climbing down and headed out.

A little while later I decided it was time to go home a well. So I started walking up the lot toward Hasbrook Avenue. When this black car slowly pulled up out of Newtown avenue and into the lot, blocking my path. A man got out and wasn’t wearing a uniform or anything.

I had heard of railroad detectives through local schoolboy lore. But I didn’t think they were real. Well, apparently they were and still are. But there was a part of me that thought this guy might be a pervert that molests kids. We knew about the whole stranger danger thing even back then. I also wondered why this guy showed up now. It had been hours later, and I was now alone.

Chuck Malloy Railroad Detective on the Streamliner by McClusky, Thorp: Fair Hardcover (1938) 1st Edition | Frank Hofmann

He started asking about me and my friend throwing rocks at trains. So he must have seen us when we were all the way down by Passmore street. I was pretty nervous about the whole situation and explained that we would never throw rocks at passenger trains and were just doing a little target practice. I don’t know if this guy was just doing his job, or being a dick, or indeed a pervert.

But he pulls out this pad and pen and starts asking me questions. He asked my name and my address and my phone number and a bunch of other standard questions, but I remember him asking me other stuff like did I go to church and stuff of that source. That’s what seemed weird about the whole thing.

He ended up letting me go and didn’t do anything to me, but I was just scared that he’d call or come around my house and tell my parents. I just didn’t need one more thing for my dad to knock me around.

But that memory always stuck with me, and I never heard of it happening to any other boys I knew at the time. Just a weird day in the life of a kid.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

People Only Fall In Love 3 Times, Each For A Unique Reason

It is often said that we tend to fall in love with only three people in our lifetime, all for a specific, unique reason.

Moreover, it is believed that from each of these relationships we learn important lessons.

What could the lessons/reasons behind all three be?

The First Love: The One that Looks Right

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…”  – Anna Godbersen

Our first love often times finds us when we are young. Of course, for some that may be in their high school days, and for others that may happen a bit later on in life. Therefore, it could be portrayed as ‘idealistic love’. Being the first time, we tend to believe it is the one and only love in store for us. Although it may not feel ‘right’ sometimes or it may become difficult, we are inclined to stick with it and try our best to make it work. The reason behind this is that we assume this is what love is ‘meant’ to be.

On the other hand, the first time we fall in love may be unrequited. Nevertheless, it still is the ‘one that looks right’, making us go out of our way to make it work, just in a different sense than what is mentioned above. Whichever one happens, it is the love for us that we aspire to hold on to, ignoring the circumstances that it may very well not be the ‘one that lasts forever’, regardless of how beautiful it is or we feel it is.

Lesson: You must not know what you want/need and be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong for you.

Falling in love for the second time: The Hard Love

“You realize that tough love is also tough on the lover.” – Julian Barnes, The Only Story

The second time we fall in love is definitely considered the hardest. It is the one to teach us big life lessons about ourselves and how we want/need to be treated and consequently, loved. It is the one that hurts us to the core, I’m afraid, as there tend to be sufficient amounts of manipulation or lies even involved.

This time around, we tend to believe we are making better or different decisions in contrast to our first one. However, our choices are most often still influenced by the need to ‘hang on’ to this love we wished was right for us. It can, inevitably, become an even vicious cycle we repeat, as we are convinced we would have a different, better result each time.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Nonetheless, after each time, it does manage to be even worse than before.

It could be, therefore, unhealthy, unpredictable, or unstable in combination with high amounts of dramatics. Emotionally and/or mentally, we become ‘dependant and hooked on’ this plotline unfolding before our eyes, as it is a mixture of severe highs and lows. While experiencing the lows we very much desperately crave the highs. This does become a drug of sorts.

Making it work becomes more essential rather than whether or not it is right for us. Hence, that is why it is the love we wished was right.

Lesson: You must not make such great compromises with yourself in order to sustain something you do not yet see as unhealthy. 

Third time’s the charm?: The Love that Lasts

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein

This kind of love comes after the exhaustion of the ones mentioned above. Therefore, we do not believe it to be possible, nor do we ‘see it coming’. As we have never planned for it, or maybe not even ‘dreamed of it’, it catches us off guard.

Furthermore, there are no expectations at hand which makes for the liberating feeling of having the ability to be oneself and be accepted for it. It is definitely not how we would have imagined our love to be, however, it presents to us the fact that love does not have to ‘tick’ certain boxes in order for it to be true.

No explanations needed and no dramatization: it is welcoming, caring, and unapologetically true. It’s the love that just feels right.

Lesson/Reason: Experiencing what non-judgemental, healthy, true love feels like.

In conclusion, however, everything is an individual affair. Moreover, it is an individual matter when it comes to how many times one needs to repeat e certain mistake to learn their lesson, as well as at what pace those lessons arrive in life. Possibly that is due to the circumstance that we are not all on the same page of being ‘ready’- ready to truly understand what love is not before we could comprehend what it indeed is.

It is a rather philosophical matter, really. However, wherever you may find yourself on this journey, it is for a reason.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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