As revealed only on the day, the support act would be Malcolm McLaren’s new group The Sex Pistols – and this was to be their debut performance.
The poster itself was designed by Bazooka Joe band member Stuart Goddard, later better known as Adam Ant.
He printed them by hand (the red and blue colours a reference to the wrappers of Bazooka Joe bubble gum wrappers) and it is thought just four were made. This example offered at entertainment specialist Omega Auctions in Merseyside on April 25 is the first to come to market thus far.
The vendor, an unnamed member of the Bazooka Joe line-up, remembers: “We were told there would be a support, but not told the name. When the band turned up with McClaren we found out they were called The Sex Pistols and this was their first ever gig.
“They told us their van had broken down on their way to the gig and didn’t have their amps or drums, they only had a guitar and a bass, and asked if they could borrow ours to which we said yes.”
The events of the night are part of Punk folklore. “Numerous articles have been written about this gig”, said the vendor. “A fight broke out between us because we pulled the plug on the Pistols as they were playing so badly and trashing our equipment. A bit of argy-bargy followed.”
What price this 20 x 12in (50 x 30cm) piece of music history? Estimated at £5000-10,000, it took £28,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium).
In January 2021 Omega sold an original listing poster for the Sex Pistols’ ill-fated 1976 Anarchy tour.
On the bill were the Damned, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers (ex New York Dolls) and special guests The Clash.
The tour, to promote the new single Anarchy in the UK, started two days after the infamous TV interview with Bill Grundy.
The 19-date tour turned into a series of cancellations as scared local councils banned shows from going on in all but three venues plus four rearranged gigs.
The poster doubled top estimate at £7000, going to an international buyer.