Odds and quads

Although unauthorised by English Heritage, this blue plaque marks the site of the infamous gig that marked the birth of UK punk rock.

In 1975, the Sex Pistols were formed by singer Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock.

Because Matlock was studying at St Martins School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design), it was at the school's Charing Cross Road site that the Pistols first appeared in public, supporting a pub band called Bazooka Joe.

Their performance was loud, baffling and completely unmusical, according to observers. Bazooka Joe pulled the plug after 20 minutes because they thought their equipment was being trashed, leading to a brief onstage fight.

Matlock soon left or was expelled from the band - allegedly because he "liked the Beatles" or was "always washing his feet" - and was replaced by Sid Vicious.

Yet, on the 30th anniversary of the event that launched the Sex Pistols, Matlock returned to Central Saint Martins to unveil this plaque.

Send suggestions for this series on the sector's treasures, oddities and curiosities to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Man measuring bar graphs with tape measure

An Elsevier analysis explores the viability of a ‘smarter and cheaper’ model

  • David Willetts

The former universities minister discusses the reforms that reshaped higher education and his first steps into academia

  • Man holding a box filled with work-related items

Refusal by John Allen to obey instruction from manager at Queen Mary University of London led to his sacking, tribunal rules

  • A black and white crowd scene with a few people highlighted

What are the key issues local union branches are dealing with, and how do they manage relationships with institutions in what many activists argue is an increasingly confrontational environment?

  • Unlocked open door

Publisher’s open access policy unleashes public display of disagreement