FX on Hulu’s biographical drama series centers around the famed English punk rock band Sex Pistols, following the origin of the band and the lives of “the Pistols.” The series depicts the dynamics between the band members, exploring their relationships with one another. In the show, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and lead singer Johnny Rotten team up and force Steve Jones to sack the bass guitarist Glen Matlock. Steve, fearing Johnny’s possible departure from the band, sacks Glen. Naturally, one must be wondering whether the incident really happened. Well, let us share everything you need to know about the same!
Why Did Steve Jones Fire Glen Matlock From Sex Pistols?
Glen Matlock was really fired from Sex Pistols. According to Steve Jones, as the show depicts, the decision to fire Glen was initially made by Malcolm McLaren and Johnny Rotten. “Tension had been mounting between Glen and John for a while, and when they had a really big row right around the time Glen started asking Malcolm awkward questions about where all the money was going, Matlock’s days were probably numbered,” Steve wrote in his autobiography titled ‘Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol’ about the circumstances that led to Glen’s firing.
However, Steve indicated that Glen’s firing wasn’t just Johnny and Malcolm’s doing by adding, “[…] we [Steve and Paul Cook] did go along with it of our own free will […].” Since Glen’s firing, several reasons were stated by the media and people involved with Sex Pistols. Malcolm reportedly stated that Glen was fired because he liked the Beatles. Glen later dismissed the same. “Me and John were chalk and cheese, so I left. I shook hands with Malcolm and then a day later he sent a telegram to NME saying I’d been sacked for liking the Beatles, which he never had the bottle to say to my face and wasn’t true,” Glen told The Guardian.
According to Steve, Johnny wanted Glen to get fired for his friend Sid Vicious to join the Sex Pistols as the bass guitarist. “He [Johnny] just wanted his mate [Sid] along for the ride so he’d have a bit of back-up against me and Cookie. He’d always hated the fact that I had a mate in the band and he didn’t,” he stated in his autobiography. Sid eventually replaced Glen as the band’s bass guitarist.
Still, Steve further claimed that Glen didn’t align with the essence of the band. “There was no denying there were some good reasons for getting rid of Glen. For all the big contributions he made to the songwriting and getting the band off the ground, he just didn’t fit into the urchin vibe,” he wrote in his autobiography. “On top of that, as we were building up the sound of the band, it was becoming very powerful; overwhelming, even. This meant there’d been less and less room in it for Matlock’s dicking around with sevenths and elevenths,” he added.
Even though Malcolm’s intention behind getting Glen fired is ambiguous, Steve indicated that it could be due to the bass guitarist’s questioning of the manager’s financial dealings concerning the club. According to Glen, Malcolm eventually asked him to return to the band. “Two weeks later [the firing] he [Malcolm] said, ‘It’s not working out with Sid. Come back!’ but I’d already started forming a new band, the Rich Kids. I said, ‘Malcolm, it’s too late. You’ve played me the wrong way,’” Glen added in conversation with The Guardian.
The incident wasn’t the end of Glen Matlock’s Sex Pistols journey. He rejoined the band for reunion tours in 1996, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008. Glen’s departure was an integral point in the history of the Sex Pistols. Sid Vicious went on to become a punk icon before his tragic death in February 1979 after replacing Glen.