Here's an interview with Tony, a Sex Pistols collector we got in touch with for a few questions for our FAN CLUB file.The Sex Pistols week starts here !

Tony, can you first tell us how you discovered the Sex Pistols ? How it all happened ?

I was a bit young to be into the band when they actually existed. But my brother was 4 years older and he had a few punk records when i was a little kid. I remember really liking his copy of Sid doing Something Else when it came out. We shared a bedroom and he used to listen to John Peel as well at night so I got a good intro to punk from a relatively young age. But still a little bit late for the original wave of punk due to my age.

What kind of music were you into at the time ?

I wasnt into any type of music as I was very young when punk 1st hit. The 1st credible record i remember buying was Generation X King Rocker. I saw them perform the song on top of the pops and was blown away by the image in particular but also the music!! So went out and bought the single that weekend. I quite liked the Adam And The Ants stuff that was in the UK charts when i was 12 or 13 (Kings Of Wild Frontier era) as well. (not so credible hahah)

Why the Sex Pistols ? For their music or the image first ?

I just loved the Never Mind The Bollocks album. And of course the image was pretty important back at the start of the 80s. I always preferred the original punk image to the mohicans that were about at this time. Remember been desperate for a motorcycle jacket when i was about 12 years old !! Took a couple of years before i could convince my parents to get me one.

Some people often compare the Glen Matlock era and the Sid Vicious era, do you prefer one more than another or do you like both ?

I like both. When i was a little kid i didnt know the history or past members so i just thought John and Sid had perfect punk images. Back then it was rare to see any video clips on TV. So photo books were important.

These days i prefer the Matlock era. The recordings before Sid joined are obviously the best.

What is your opinion on the image of boys band that McLaren and a part of the media have tried to "sell" to the public ?

Total bollocks. I think McLaren didnt really have a clue what he was doing and the Pistols got on with it themselves really. I think his management style wasnt usual and he did pull off some masterstrokes, but by chance not planned.

How many times have you seen the band live on stage ?

I was too young to see them 1st time round. 9 years old at time of Winterland. They did actually play in my home town twice back in the day. Doncaster with the 2nd time as the Tax Exiles on the secret tour. But too young. I did see them on the reunion tours though.

Finsbury Park and Paris on the Filthy Lucre tour 1996.

Crystal Palace 2002

Brixton and Manchester on the Holidays in the sun tour 2007

Birmingham and Loch Lomond on the Combine Harvester tour 2008

So that's 7 times i seen them in total.

What kind of stuff do you collect ? Only records and live tapes/cdr or gig tickets, buttons, and posters too ? Something else ?

Recors and CDs

Live tapes/CDR

Have some Memorabilia. T shirts poster and books

I have a copy of the Anarchy in the UK newspaper. I got this really cheap in the 90s. Got a list of stuff for sale from a Dutch record shop and spotted "Anarchy in the U.K. newspaper’ on the list for £20 (or something like that). So ordered it with no expectation it would actually turn out to be what i hoped it was. But when it turned up it was a genuine copy of the newspaper.

Do you still trade live recordings as you used to do years ago ?

Not so much. Times have changed and if anything new does turn up its usually a case of downloading it.

When did you start collecting ?

Was still at school. I got my first batch of Pistols records from a mate at school. Will have been 1980 i reckon. Used to buy Record collector magazine at this time and somethimes buy stuff from classified ads in NME and Sounds as well. Then started going to record fairs a couple of years later. Then internet in the early 2000s…..

What is your Sex Pistols « holy grail » ? The Sex Pistols record/item you don't have and you wish you could buy one day ?

Well i never got a A&M God Save The Queen. I remember seeing them for sale the 1st time for £50. Then £75, £125….to what they are now. But back then £75 was far too much money for me to have afforded to buy one. I did bid on a few in the early 2000s but by then they were already starting to spiral upwards to prices i wasnt prepared to pay then. With hindsight should have paid the grand or whatever they were going for back then. But never did. And wouldnt pay what they a re going for now. And these days would have to worry about fakes. I know we all know how to tell a genuine one, but so will the bootleggers and only a matter of time before they start knocking out better quality fakes. Has to happen with the prices they could sell them for.

Do you prefer official records in your collection or bootlegs ? Why ?

My favourite branch of vinyl is 7 inch singles. This is what i first strated to collect back in the day. Back when i started collecting there werent any books or lists of what was available. So would just find stuff at record fairs. The French records were what i first got, then Japanese singles.

I do also like the original bootlegs from 70s and 80s. The newer ones are good, but still something special about those original ones !!

What is your favorite record/item in your collection and why ?

I suppose my favourite singles is Stepping Stone WLTP (White Label Test Pressing). This version has Substitute on the b-side. Got this from a classified ad in the Sounds i think. Had to phone the seller and make an offer. I offered £15 which he accepted. Back then i didnt even have a bank account so had to pay in postal orders. 

Stepping Stone WLTP

In the early 2000s i found a record shop in Italy while surfing the net. They had Italian God Save The Queen and Pretty Vacant WLTP for a bout £20 each. So bought them straight away and they were genuine, both in picture sleeves as well when they arrived.

Bought the Golfer No fun album (aka The Good ime Music Of The Sex Pistolsfrom a record fair for £40. By this time lists of what was available (such as the excellent website: God Save the Sex Pistols) so i was aware of this album and how rare the golfer sleeve was. I remember the stall holder saying he was expecting that one to get sold very early at the record fair. I was lucky to be the 1st person to find it.

How did you get it  and how long did it take before you could buy it ?

See above

What is the opinion of your family about the passion you have on the Sex Pistols ? Do they understand and maybe they help you to find some items you're after ?

My girfriend thinks i am a mental hoarder!!

God Save The Queen Virgin WLTP

Do you know how many Sex Pistols records and items you own ?

A lot. I have a list of everything. When i was younger could have got away without at, but these days memory isn’t up to that so a list essential to stop buying duplicates !!

What is your best souvenir as a Sex Pistols fan and the worst ?

I suppose gig tickets and t shirts bought at gigs are the best souvenirs.

What do you think of the Pistol serie ?

Quite liked it. But didnt watch it expecting the truth.

Do you also collect Sex Pistols related bands such as the Rich Kids, the Professionals, Sid Vicious, Public Image Ltd ?

A bit but only really Sid stuff to same degree as Pistols

Keith Levene and Wilco Johnson have passed away recently. Dr Feelgood is said to be an influence on the British Punk scene and PiL is one of the major British Post-Punk bands. Do you like both ?

The "Golfer" bootleg

Yes i like them both. I dont only like punk music. I love the Pixies. And in early 90s i loved acid house and the stone roses. So i have a oretty wide range of music i listen to these days.

What kind of Punk bands do you like most apart from the Sex Pistols ? Regarding the last « Punk revival » these last 20 years, are there Punk bands that you like ? The Briefs ? Cyanide Pills ? Others ?

So i love all the 1st wave punk bands. Love The Clash. Not a big fan of the newer bands. Really dont like bands like Green Day at all.

Tony, thanks a lot for answering our questions.

Pretty Vacant Virgin WLTP