Sex Pistols: 90 Days at EMI
Here is the story of how the Sex Pistols shocked and shamed EMI – the UK’s most revered and profitable record company – and ended up GBP40,000 the richer thanks to manager Malcolm McLaren’s cunning business strategy.
Author Brian Southall is the former EMI PR executive who was there during the whole infamous Ex Pistols/EMI affair. Now, he’s telling the whole story. From EMI’s signing of the Pistols in September 1976, through the notorious swearing incident on Thames Television’s Today programme, to the band’s extreme behaviour at London’s Heathrow airport that resulted in EMI severing their 90-day-old contract.
“I don’t understand it,” Johnny Rotten said that the time. “All we’re trying to do is destroy everything.”
Brian Southall worked as a journalist with Music Business Weekly, Melody Maker and Disc before joining A&M records. He moved to EMI Records and EMI Music where, during a 15 year career, he served in press, promotion, marketing, artist development and corporate communications. From 1989 he was a consultant to Warner Music International, HMV Group and both the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the International Federation of the phonographic Industry (IFPI).
- Written by the PR Executive who was there during the 90 day debacle with Sex Pistols who experienced it firsthand
- The drama got so much that packers at the EMI plant refused to handle the band’s single
- Incidences include the infamous Thames Television’s ‘Today’ debacle and the extreme behaviour at Heathrow airport
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