[Original Handbill Advertising the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London, June 29 and July 6, 1976]
(London): np, . First Edition. Handbill. 8 1/4" x 11 3/4". Printed recto only. Very good with some flattened creases and a 1/3î edge tear on the bottom. Artwork by Jamie Reid, featuring a repeated image of Rotten/Lydon snarling into a mic. (Item ID: 12928)
Beginning in 1976, The Sex Pistols' took up Tuesday night residency at the 100 Club (a venue better known until then for jazz), gigs that would be pivotal for the band. As Jon Savage has written in his definitive ENGLAND'S DREAMING: "In the intimate setting of the 100 Club, the group could relax enough to take risks with their material and their performances. There they began to master their equipment, using the acoustics of the small club to experiment with overload, feedback and distortion. Electric amplification had provided much of the excitement of early Rock'n'Roll: pushing their equipment to the limit [...] the Sex Pistols twisted their limited repertoire into a noise as futuristic as their rhetoric" (177). The club also served as location for the famed 100 Club Punk Special, a two-day festival featuring the Pistols, The Damned, The Buzzcocks, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and other unsigned acts, an event that was instrumental in bringing punk to the mainstream. It was also at the 100 Club pogoing was first invented, a development often attributed to Sid Vicious, but more likely simply fans' practical response to poor visibility in the tight confines of the club. Describing the June 29th date (of which bootlegs exist), Savage writes: "[B]ut the 100 Club take is something else. Here the Pistols are wound up to a pitch of impossible tautness: they swoop and drive through their fifteen songs (more than half of all they would ever play in their brief life)." This performance also almost certainly marked the first public performance of "Flowers of Romance." In addition, the July 6 date is significant the first ìrealî show by The Damned, who opened. Together, two landmark performances for the group that defined British punk rock. While Reid's more commercial work for the Pistols appears with some regularity, early and ephemeral promotional items like this are decidedly more scarce. And after Reid's iconic "God Save the Queen" flyer, arguably the defining Sex Pistols handbill, perfectly combining the raw energy of the group with Reid's signature punk style. This image was also utilized by Reid in his design of the Sex Pistols' press kit. See Reid & Savage, UP THEY RISE, p. 49 and Burgess and Parker, SATELLITE, p. 79. Source: Wood, SEX PISTOLS DAY BY DAY.