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Encyclopedia > The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
Directed by Julien Temple
Produced by Don Boyd
Jeremy Thomas
Written by Julien Temple
Starring Johnny Rotten
Steve Jones
Glen Matlock
Paul Cook
Sid Vicious
Malcolm McLaren
Mary Millington
Irene Handl
Music by Sex Pistols
Release date(s) May, 1980
Running time 103 min.
Language English
IMDb profile

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) is a fictional "documentary" (a "mockumentary") film directed by Julien Temple about the seminal British punk rock band Sex Pistols. It starred the band: singer Johnny Rotten as "The Collaborator", guitarist Steve Jones as "The Crook", bassist Sid Vicious as "The Gimmick", drummer Paul Cook as "The Tea-Maker", and the band's infamous manager, Malcolm McLaren, as "The Embezzler". It also features original bassist Glen Matlock, who appears briefly in some live scenes. Image File history File links Greatrars. ... Julien Temple (born November 26, 1953 in London) is an English film, documentary and music video director. ... Jeremy Thomas (born 26 July 1949 in London, England) is a British film producer. ... John Lydon John Joseph Lydon (born January 31, 1956), also known as Johnny Rotten (a nickname derived from the state of his teeth) was the iconoclastic lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd (PiL) and an Irish individualist anarchist. ... Stephen Phillip Jones (b. ... Glen Matlock (born August 27, 1956 in West London, England) was the original bass guitarist of punk rock band the Sex Pistols. ... Paul Cook, born on July 20, 1956, is an English drummer and former member of the Sex Pistols. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Malcolm McLaren (born Malcolm Robert Andrew Edwards, 22 January 1946, in London) is an English impresario, musician and self-publicist who is best known as being the manager of the punk rock band Sex Pistols. ... Mary Quilter (November 30, 1945 - August 19, 1979), better known by her stage name Mary Millington, was a 1970s British porn star and nude model who became famous in the through her appearances in David Sullivans magazines and films, most notably in her starring role in the sex comedies... Irene Handl (December 27, 1901 – November 29, 1987) was an English film actress. ... The Sex Pistols were an iconic and highly influential English punk rock band, formed in London in 1975. ... The year 1980 in film involved some significant events. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... Julien Temple (born November 26, 1953 in London) is an English film, documentary and music video director. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... The Sex Pistols were an iconic and highly influential English punk rock band, formed in London in 1975. ... John Lydon John Joseph Lydon (born January 31, 1956), also known as Johnny Rotten (a nickname derived from the state of his teeth) was the iconoclastic lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd (PiL) and an Irish individualist anarchist. ... Stephen Phillip Jones (b. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Paul Cook, born on July 20, 1956, is an English drummer and former member of the Sex Pistols. ... Malcolm McLaren (born Malcolm Robert Andrew Edwards, 22 January 1946, in London) is an English impresario, musician and self-publicist who is best known as being the manager of the punk rock band Sex Pistols. ... Glen Matlock (born August 27, 1956 in West London, England) was the original bass guitarist of punk rock band the Sex Pistols. ...

Contents

Plot and overview

The film tells the story of the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols from the viewpoint of their manager Malcolm McLaren. This is done by footage shot by director Julien Temple of the band from their beginnings, live and interview footage from various sources, animated sequences, as well as scenes featuring McLaren explaining his own personal philosophy behind the band. The Sex Pistols were an iconic and highly influential English punk rock band, formed in London in 1975. ... Malcolm McLaren (born Malcolm Robert Andrew Edwards, 22 January 1946, in London) is an English impresario, musician and self-publicist who is best known as being the manager of the punk rock band Sex Pistols. ...


As the film was made after the break up of the band, no participation from Johnny Rotten occurred (he only is represented in archival footage and in cartoon form, as is original bassist Glen Matlock) and the film has been accused by Rotten as being a personal attack on himself by McLaren. The other members of the band, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones and Paul Cook did participate in the making of the film and appear throughout with Jones acting the part of a detective trying to piece together the story of the band. John Joseph Lydon (born January 31, 1956), also known as Johnny Rotten, is an English rock musician. ... Glen Matlock (born August 27, 1956 in West London, England) was the original bass guitarist of punk rock band the Sex Pistols. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Stephen Phillip Jones (b. ... Paul Cook, born on July 20, 1956, is an English drummer and former member of the Sex Pistols. ...


British diva Marianne Faithfull was asked to appear as Sid Vicious' mother, but when she read that her character was to have a sex scene, she declined. However, Sting, bassist and lead singer of the band, The Police had a bit part but the scene was cut and later appeared in The Filth and the Fury (see below). Marianne Faithfull (born 29 December 1946) is an English singer and actress whose career spans over four decades. ... Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, CBE (born 2 October 1951), universally known by his stage name Sting, is an English musician from Newcastle upon Tyne. ... The Police are a three-piece rock band consisting of singer/bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland. ... The Filth and the Fury is a reference to a headline featured on British tabloid paper the Sun after an interview on BBC Televisions Today with Bill Grundy; Siouxsie Sioux (of Banshees fame) was a 17 year old groupie who was on the show with the drunken Pistols when...


The aim of the film, released after the band's breakup, was to explicitly present how Malcolm McLaren created and used the band to attain his stated goal of "making a million pounds". McLaren further implies that he created Punk rock, hence it was a swindle.


However, by the time filming on The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle had begun, Johnny Rotten left the band and began touring with his own band, Public Image Ltd., under his birth name, John Lydon. Reportedly, Lydon wanted nothing to do with the film. Public Image Ltd. ...


Arguably, the film appeals mostly to hardcore Sex Pistols fans. Critics derided it as uneven (at best), base, and unentertaining, citing, in particular, a scene depicting an aging Nazi officer chasing the band (sans Lydon), and demanding they re-write their song, "Belsen Was a Gas". The film also features copious amounts of full-frontal nudity (both male and female). National Socialism redirects here. ...


The screenplay began as a fictional work called Who Killed Bambi, co-written by noted film critic Roger Ebert as a vehicle for controversial director Russ Meyer. After Meyer quit the project, Julien Temple rewrote it to focus on Malcolm McLaren's lofty goal of taking a horrible rock and roll band and making it successful, all the while proudly scamming the people and record label executives. Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films. ... Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ... Russ Meyer Russell Albion Meyer (March 21, 1922 – September 18, 2004), best known as Russ Meyer was an American motion picture director and photographer. ...


The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle also contains Sid Vicious' rendition of Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way". Vicious' infamous girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, appears uncredited in the film. Francis Albert Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American jazz oriented popular singer and Academy Award-winning actor. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The film was heavily criticised at the time for being too skewed towards McLaren's view and although some critics considered it to accurately show the Punk rock scene of the time, it was considered to be a failure at making a Sex Pistols film which really represented the band.


The film was part of the legal battle between the remaining members of the band and McLaren which started in 1978. The case was an attempt by the band to regain the legal ownership of their music as well as everything bearing the name of The Sex Pistols. The judge ruled that whoever owned the band's assets, the film was the group's only remaining asset and as such it had to be finished and released. The film finally made it out in 1980, by which time Malcolm McLaren had fallen out with Temple and had his name taken off the credits.


Rotten and the others won the case in 1986 and they regained the trademarks to their name and images from McLaren and formed a new business partnership called Sex Pistols Residuals (a collective d/b/a for Lydon, Jones, Cook, Matlock, and the estate of John Richie (Sid Vicious)). This allowed the film to receive a home video release in 1993 and a DVD release in 2005. Among the extras on the DVD is a commentary by Temple explaining the making of the film. Among the things that are revealed, is that a short segment of very poor silent b&w concert footage was shot on super-8 by Derek Jarman in 1975, making it the oldest document of the group. The phrase doing business as (abbreviated DBA or d/b/a) is a legal term, meaning that the name of the business or operation does not include the legal name of its proprietor, the names of all partners, or the official registered name of the limited partnership or corporation that... Derek Jarman Derek Jarman (January 31, 1942 – February 19, 1994) was an English film director, stage designer, artist, and writer. ...


The Sex Pistols made The Filth and the Fury in 2000, a similar film also directed by Julien Temple, but this time it was told with the full participation of the band (McLaren never took part and his footage in the film is taken from The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and its outtakes) and is seen as telling a more accurate version of the history of the Sex Pistols. The Filth and the Fury is a reference to a headline featured on British tabloid paper the Sun after an interview on BBC Televisions Today with Bill Grundy; Siouxsie Sioux (of Banshees fame) was a 17 year old groupie who was on the show with the drunken Pistols when...


The term "Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" was also used by Jello Biafra referring to his former Dead Kennedys bandmates' "reunion" tour with singers other than Biafra. This outraged some fans, and Biafra called the newly dubbed "DK Kennedys" the "greediest karaoke band ever". Eric Reed Boucher (born June 17, 1958) is more widely known by the stage name Jello Biafra. ... The Dead Kennedys (often known by their initials DK, as in decay) are a punk band from San Francisco, California. ... A karaoke machine Karaoke 空 kara, empty or void, and オーケストラ ōkesutora, orchestra) pronounced ;   is a form of entertainment in which an amateur singer or singers sing along with recorded music on microphone. ...


Soundtrack

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
Soundtrack by The Sex Pistols
Released February 26, 1979
Recorded 1978
Genre Punk rock
Length 77:06
Label Virgin Records
Producer(s)  ???, Dave Goodman
Professional reviews
  • Allmusic.com 4/5 stars
The Sex Pistols chronology
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
(1977)
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle
(1979)
Flogging a Dead Horse
(1980)

The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle was also the name of the Sex Pistols' second album (and a song from that album). Though billed as a Sex Pistols album, it is actually the soundtrack of the film, and also includes performances by several other artists. Image File history File links Sex_Pistols_-_Swindle. ... // In film formats, the sound track is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ... The Sex Pistols in 1977. ... is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Virgin Records is a British recording label founded by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, and Nik Powell in 1972. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... Image File history File links 4_stars. ... The Sex Pistols in 1977. ... Cover of US Release Never Mind the Bollocks, Heres the Sex Pistols is a 1977 album recorded by the seminal English punk rock band, Sex Pistols. ... Flogging a Dead Horse is a compilation album of singles by the Sex Pistols, released after their break-up, and includes the four songs that were issued as singles A-sides from Never Mind the Bollocks, Heres the Sex Pistols with three of their B-sides, as well as...


Soundtrack listing

Version 1

  1. "God Save the Queen" (Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, Paul Cook)
  2. "Johnny B. Goode"/"Roadrunner" (Chuck Berry)/(Jonathan Richman)
  3. "Black Arabs" (AKA Disco Medley): "Anarchy in the UK"/"God Save the Queen"/"Pretty Vacant"/"No One is Innocent" (Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook, Ronnie Biggs)
  4. "Anarchy in the UK" (Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook)
  5. "Substitute" (Pete Townshend)
  6. "Don't Gimme No Lip" (Thomas/Richards)
  7. "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" (Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart)
  8. "Anarchie Pour Le UK" (Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook)
  9. "Belsen Was a Gas" (Rotten, Jones, Sid Vicious, Cook)
  10. "Belsen Vos A Gas" (Rotten, Jones, Vicious, Cook)
  11. "Silly Thing" (Jones, Cook)
  12. "My Way" (Paul Anka, Claude François, Jacques Revaux)
  13. "I Wanna Be Me" (Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook)
  14. "Something Else" (Eddie Cochran, Sharon Sheeley)
  15. "Rock Around the Clock" (Max C. Freedman, James E. Myers)
  16. "Lonely Boy" (Jones, Cook)
  17. "No One Is Innocent" (Jones, Cook, Biggs)
  18. "C'mon Everybody" (Cochran, Jerry Capehart)
  19. "EMI" (Rotten, Jones, Matlock, Cook)
  20. "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" (Jones, Cook, Julien Temple)
  21. "Friggin' in the Riggin'" (Traditional; arranged by Jones)
  22. "You Need Hands" (Max Bygraves)
  23. "Who Killed Bambi" (Edward Tudor-Pole/Vivienne Westwood)

Version 2 God Save the Queen (B-side Did You No Wrong), released on May 27, 1977 was the second single by the punk band the Sex Pistols. ... John Joseph Lydon (born January 31, 1956), also known as Johnny Rotten, is an English rock musician. ... Stephen Phillip Jones (b. ... Glen Matlock (born August 27, 1956 in West London, England) was the original bass guitarist of punk rock band the Sex Pistols. ... Paul Cook, born on July 20, 1956, is an English drummer and former member of the Sex Pistols. ... Music sample Johnny B. Goode ( file info) Problems? See media help. ... Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926 in St. ... Jonathan Richman (born 16 May 1951) is an American proto-punk icon and one of the progenitors of indie rock. ... Anarchy in the U.K. (B-side I Wanna Be Me) was the first single by the punk band the Sex Pistols released on November 26, 1976, and is thus frequently considered to be the first punk single (although The Ramones released Blitzkrieg Bop a year earlier). ... God Save the Queen (B-side Did You No Wrong), released on May 27, 1977 was the second single by the punk band the Sex Pistols. ... Pretty Vacant was the third single released by punk band the Sex Pistols. ... No One Is Innocent is the fifth single by the British punk band the Sex Pistols and was released on June 30, 1978. ... Ronald Arthur Biggs (born August 8, 1929 in Londons tough East End), known commonly as Ronnie Biggs, is a British prisoner who is known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963. ... Anarchy in the U.K. (B-side I Wanna Be Me) was the first single by the punk band the Sex Pistols released on November 26, 1976, and is thus frequently considered to be the first punk single (although The Ramones released Blitzkrieg Bop a year earlier). ... Peter Dennis Blandford (Pete) Townshend (born May 19, 1945 in Chiswick, London), is an award winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer. ... Boyce & Hart promotional image (Bobby Hart, Tommy Boyce as pictured) Tommy Boyce (born Sidney Thomas Boyce, September 29, 1939, Charlottesville, Virginia; died November 23, 1994) and Bobby Hart (born Robert Luke Harshman, February 19, 1939, Phoenix, Arizona) were songwriters best known for the songs they wrote for The Monkees. ... Boyce & Hart promotional image (Bobby Hart, Tommy Boyce as pictured) Tommy Boyce (born Sidney Thomas Boyce, September 29, 1939, Charlottesville, Virginia; died November 23, 1994) and Bobby Hart (born Robert Luke Harshman, February 19, 1939, Phoenix, Arizona) were songwriters best known for the songs they wrote for The Monkees. ... Belsen Was a Gas is one of the most controversial songs by the British punk band the Sex Pistols. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the song made famous by Frank Sinatra. ... Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941, in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. ... Claude François Claude François (born February 1, 1939 in Ismaïlia, Egypt; died March 11, 1978 in Paris, France) was a French pop singer. ... Jacques Revaux (born July 11, 1940 in Azay-sur-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, France) is a songwriter most famous for his 1968 collaboration with singer Claude François on the song Comme dhabitude that singer-songwriter Paul Anka reworked into the English language as My Way. Revaux also wrote... Something Else is a song by the rockabilly musician Eddie Cochran, co-written with his girlfriend Sharon Sheeley. ... Ray Edward Eddie Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an early American rockabilly musician and an important influence on popular music during the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Sharon Sheeley (April 4, 1940–May 17, 2002) was an American songwriter born in California in 1940 whos work found success for artists like Glen Campbell, Ricky Nelson, Brenda Lee, and former fiancee, Eddie Cochran. ... Rock Around the Clock is a rock n roll song from 1952, written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter under the pseudonym Jimmy De Knight). Although first recorded by Sonny Dae & the Knights, the more famous version by Bill Haley & His Comets is not, strictly speaking... James E. Myers (October 26, 1919 - May 9, 2001) was a songwriter who co-wrote and published Bill Haleys hit Rock Around the Clock among others. ... No One Is Innocent is the fifth single by the British punk band the Sex Pistols and was released on June 30, 1978. ... Jerry Capehart (born 1929, died Nashville, Tennessee 7 June 1998)[1] was a songwriter and music manager. ... Julien Temple (born November 26, 1953 in London) is an English film, documentary and music video director. ... The Good Ship Venus  , also known as Friggin in the Riggin, is a bawdy drinking song devised to shock with ever increasingly lewd and debauched sexual descriptions of the titular ships loose moralled crew. ... Max Bygraves - CD cover Max Bygraves OBE (born 16 October 1922 in Rotherhithe, London as Walter William Bygraves) is an English singer songwriter, famous for his waving hands. ... Edward Tudor-Pole (born December 6, 1955 in London) is an English musician, singer (as Eddie Tenpole) and actor. ... Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE (born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Tintwistle, Cheshire, on 8 April 1941) is an English fashion designer largely responsible for modern punk and new wave fashions. ...

  1. "God Save the Queen" (Symphony)
  2. "Rock Around the Clock"
  3. "Johnny B. Goode"
  4. "Road Runner"
  5. "Black Arabs"
  6. "Anarchy in the UK" (New Version)
  7. "Watcha Gonna Do About It?"
  8. "Who Killed Bambi?"
  9. "Silly Thing"
  10. "Substitute"
  11. "Don't Give Me No Lip Child"
  12. "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone"
  13. "Lonely Boy"
  14. "Something Else"
  15. "Anarchie Pour Le UK"
  16. "Belsen Was a Gas" (live in San Francisco)
  17. "Belsen Was a Gas" (with Ronnie Biggs)
  18. "No One is Innocent"
  19. "My Way"
  20. "C'mon Everybody"
  21. "EMI" (Orchestra)
  22. "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle"
  23. "You Need Hands"
  24. "Friggin in the Riggin'"

Roadrunner is a song written by Jonathan Richman and recorded in various versions by Richman and his band, in most cases credited as The Modern Lovers. ...

Notes

The album cover gives no musicians' credits, only a list of singers. Though most of the songs were performed by the Sex Pistols in some form, there are notable exceptions. "God Save the Queen" was an orchestral rendetion with Malcolm McLaren speaking over the music about how he "invented" punk rock and the Sex Pistols. EMI is done in the same manner, but with Steve Jones speaking the lyrics. The four song medley was a disco adaptation performed by a group called Black Arabs. "Anarchie Pour Le U.K." was done by a trio of French street musicians led by singer Louis Brennon, with accordion and fiddle. "Who Killed Bambi", one of Edward Tudor-Pole's creations, was performed by himself and an orchestra. God Save the Queen (B-side Did You No Wrong) was the second single released by influential punk rock band the Sex Pistols. ... Disco is a genre of dance-oriented pop music that blends elements of funk and soul music that was first popularized in dance clubs (discothèques) in the mid-1970s. ... Anarchy in the UK was the title track of the first single by Sex Pistols, released on November 26, 1976 (B-side I Wanna Be Me). It was the second UK punk single, preceded by The Damneds New Rose. The single was the only Sex Pistols recording released by... This article is about the instrument as a whole. ... The term fiddle refers to a violin when used in folk music. ... Edward Tudor-Pole (born December 6, 1955 in London) is an English musician, singer (as Eddie Tenpole) and actor. ...


See also

The Filth and the Fury is a reference to a headline featured on British tabloid paper the Sun after an interview on BBC Televisions Today with Bill Grundy; Siouxsie Sioux (of Banshees fame) was a 17 year old groupie who was on the show with the drunken Pistols when... Who Killed Bambi? was to be the first film featuring The Sex Pistols which was due to be released in 1978. ...

External links

  • DVD review
  • The Great Rock and Roll Swindle remembered by McLaren employee Sue Steward

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (636 words)
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is a 1979 documentary film directed by Julien Temple featuring The Sex Pistols.
The term "Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" was also used by Jello Biafra referring to his former Dead Kennedys bandmates' "reunion" tour with a singer other than Biafra.
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle was also the name of the Sex Pistols' second album (and a song from that album).
Maryland Film Festival 2000 (738 words)
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is the Mclaren side of the argument.
Despite its random, haphazard script (hey, it's punk rock after all), the film trundles along at a cheerful pace, and is bolstered by the incredible live footage of the band at the peak of it's power, and sadly, at their lowest point of their short-lived career.
Despite some of its historical inaccuracies The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is an important document of the punk scene in London in 1978.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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