Of course the Sex Pistols have a credit card

The Sex Pistols now have a branded credit card.

For some reason, this development has made people feel angry and betrayed.

I say “for some reason” because…do people not know how and why the Sex Pistols were formed?

From Bloomberg’s’s obit of Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols’ manager.

“I don’t really care if bands can play guitars or not,” McLaren said in a 1984 interview. “I want them to say something. But, above all, I really want them to make money. Lots and lots of it.”

The budding entrepreneur, always seeking controversy, then decided to rename the shop Sex, sell punk clothes covered in safety pins and have the group promote it. He also paid for rehearsal space and renamed them the Sex Pistols — over objections of band member John Lydon (better known as Johnny Rotten), who wanted the act to be known as “Sex.”

“I didn’t want these herberts to be named just that,” said McLaren, in his 1984 interview with me for “The Dictionary of Rock and Pop Names.” “I wanted to get them known. I wanted to sell loads of trousers.”

Here’s John Lydon (née Rotten) during the 1996 press conference announcing the Sex Pistols’ reunion shows:

Reporter: Do you still hate each other?

Lydon: Yes, with a vengeance, but we share a common cause, and that’s your money.

Filthy lucre, indeed!

Oh and then there’s this.

417pA+7OiwLIt isn’t so much that a Sex Pistols credit card is a betrayal of a punk ethos as it is a surprise that it took this long to happen.

Sure, the card is produced by Virgin Records and it’s possible the Pistols had nothing to do with it. But it’s not like they’ve ever been interested in running away from money. The Pistols coincided with punk more than they formed it.

If there’s ever a Clash credit card you should only be allowed to use it in a supermarket.

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