The Sex Pistols: The Stolper-Wilson Collection

The Sex Pistols: The Stolper-Wilson Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 25. Malcolm McLaren | Handwritten statement in black ink, [1977].

Malcolm McLaren | Handwritten statement in black ink, [1977]

Lot Closed

October 21, 01:27 PM GMT


4,000 - 6,000 GBP

Lot Details


Malcolm McLaren

Handwritten statement in black ink, 1977

(296 x 206mm.), framed

"The SEX PISTOLS are like some contagious disease – UNTOUCHABLE! I keep walking in and out of offices being given cheques. When I’m older and people ask me what I used to do for a living I shall have to say: I WENT IN AND OUT OF OFFICES GETTING PAID FOR IT! IT’S CRAZY!!!"

McLaren here references the Sex Pistols bizarre relationship with record companies in early 1977, as their notoriety made them both untouchable and increasingly valuable property. The band signed with EMI in October 1976 but were forced out of their contract in January 1977 (keeping their advance of £40,000). They made a public ceremony out of their signing with A&M in March 1977 but it took less than a week for the label's executives to become more closely acquainted with the band and promptly insist on breaking the contract, leading to an even larger severance settlement of about £125,000. These pay-outs hardly provided an incentive for the band members to restrain their behaviour, but in May 1977 the Sex Pistols found a permanent home with Virgin Records.

McLaren proclaimed these lines in contemporary footage, which was later used in the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle film.

Jon Savage; BeatBooks/Andrew Sclanders, London, from whom purchased 2003

Exhibited: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, U.S.A., 1996-2000; Hospital, London 2004; Urbis, Manchester 2005

Up They Rise p. 65; No Future p. 37