The Sex Pistols Swindle Again with a New Documentary

The Sex Pistols Swindle Again with a New Documentary

July 14, 1999 12:00 AM ET

With each passing year, the fascination with the Sex Pistols' great rock & roll swindle refuses to dwindle.| The zeal for punk's forefathers got so great -- and original members' piggy banks so empty -- that in 1996, eighteen years after the group broke up, they reunited for a live album and tour of Great Britain and the U.S. Now, three years after the world last heard from the Pistols, a documentary titled The Filth and the Fury commemorating the band's first go-round in the mid-to-late Seventies, is being readied for theatrical release.

"We thought we must do something with all this [previously unreleased] footage, but we had no idea it would turn into something so special," says Amanda Temple, wife of The Filth and the Fury's director, Julien. "The band have really talked in a way they've ever done before about that time."

According to Temple, the documentary will include footage collected from virtually every format, including VHS and Super 8, and feature a lost interview Julien Temple conducted with late bassist Sid Vicious around the time Temple was directing the Pistols' 1980 mockumentary The Great Rock & Roll Swindle. New interviews with all four original band members (frontman Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, bassist Glen Matlock and drummer Paul Cook) will be included and the group itself will narrate the film.

"The band talk about that time and why the Pistols were relevant and where it came out of socially and politically," Temple says. "It's very surprising and illuminating about the time and about the band." Included among the nostalgia will be a detailed account of the now-fabled 1978 American tour that was aborted after two weeks and essentially ended the band. No account of the 1996 reunion tour will be included.

Temple says the film will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 9-18), where the filmmakers hope to obtain a distributor. Temple also says a film soundtrack including Pistols material and other artists that influenced the band is in the works.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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