Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols announced today that they would reunite (for the third time) for a 30th anniversary gig at London's Brixton Academy on November 8. Their sole studio recording, 1977's "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" is being re-released this fall, along with a series of 7 inch single reissues.

This news was overshadowed locally, however, by the story that broke earlier in the week that Bell Canada's new billboard ads in Toronto and Vancouver depict a woman wearing a button that reads "Belsen Was a Gas". Not wanting to link cell phones with the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Bell is currently having the subway billboards removed. The button refers to a song recorded by the Ex Pistols (after Rotten/Lydon left the band in 1978) with Ronnie Biggs on vocals. Now held in Norwich prison for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963, Biggs was then a celebrity fugitive who thwarted capture or extradition for three decades. The song was apparently written by Sid Vicious for his earlier band The Flowers of Romance. The frankly vile but also mostly matter-of-fact lyrics are often construed as anti-Semitic, but were just as likely written for simple shock value.

Bell Canada apologized and said that in sample images they could not read the text of the button.

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