Songwriter Punk Pioneer
Forever changing rock 'n' roll history as chief songwriter with the Sex
Pistols, the evolving path walked by Glen Matlock remains unbound by
genre, geography, & task.
His contribution to the Sex Pistols, and thus culture itself, is well
documented. Penning the anthem Pretty Vacant, arguably the most famous
punk song ever, Glen wrote the music to all the Sex Pistols classics,
including Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen, creating the
benchmarks for any aspiring rock band who followed in their wake.
Periodic Sex Pistols reunions have allowed the world the chance to see
Glen reaffirm his rightful position as the cornerstone of the Pistols.
The Sex Pistols, however, represent only a fraction of Glen's legacy.
His next band, the Rich Kids, put out one of the most influential
albums of the late 70s, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers, packed full of
rock ‘n’ pop gems. Working with Iggy Pop, (who recorded Glen’s song
Ambition), during the 80s kept him sharp and sought-after with a body
of work during this period giving rise to releases by bands such as The
Spectres and Hot Club.
In the 1990s Glen emerged as a solo force to be reckoned with. His
album Who’s he Think he is When he’s at Home? recorded for Creation
Records, home of Oasis, was a full-on guitar album, blistering in its
intensity, taking everyone by surprise. Not content to kick up his
heels, the reinvention continued with a series of fine albums by his
band project, The Philistines.
Invigorated in the wake of the Pistols re-emergence, Glen continued to
record songs to rival those on Never Mind The Bollocks for swagger and
craft. Open Mind, On Something, & Born Running were albums
showcasing the full spectrum of Glen’s prowess. Pile drivers rubbed
shoulders with reflective refrains & personal lyrics. One highlight, Hey Mister, was seized upon by BBC radio.
It's not just Glen's solo work that sets him apart from the pack.
Headhunted by artists from all backgrounds and styles, both in the U.K.
and abroad, has seen him not merely contribute, but shape some of the
coolest sounds around. Acclaimed cutting edge albums by Wendy
James, Viv Albertine, International Swingers, and King Mob have been
enriched by his input, while his own studio projects with Earl Slick
& Slim Jim Phantom show a continuing rich vein of inspirational
In 2018, with both Earl & Slim Jim on board, he released Good To Go, a solo album that garnered a string of
positive press reviews and feedback from fans, many believing it to be
his best body of work to date. It's no coincidence that Glen's
resurgence is mirrored by his frequent appearances on TV, from The One
Show, The Wright Stuff and even the quiz show Pointless, where he
proved a formidable contestant alongside Slim Jim Phantom. Glen was also the figurehead for the Anarchy Arias
project in which songs from the punk era underwent transformation into
classical mini masterpieces.
Always in demand live, Glen has heeded the call from all corners of the
musical world, whether it be the rockabilly of Robert Gordon or
reformed Faces. His knack of continual inspiration and
invention comes in part from his belief in just getting out there and
engaging. Picking up his guitar and delivering an acoustic set, either
in his beloved London, or some far flung outpost in the global rock
universe, keeps Glen grounded and in tune with life and its stories.
Keen to expand his world view and experience, Glen has developed a niche
in DJ sets guesting in nightclubs in countries as geographically
dispersed as Brazil and Italy. In 2018 Glen became one of the first UK musicians
to perform in South Korea's Demilitarized Zone, a feat which brought
much attention in the media, including BBC News.
Passing on his vast knowledge and
experience to others has become important to Glen (his two sons are
making musical waves of their own) and he has latterly embraced college
music teaching and motivational speaking. This seems fitting for one of
the most famous, yet grounded, musicians to emerge at the forefront of
the most turbulent and celebrated musical upheaval in rock 'n' roll.
History is, thank God, not what Glen Matlock is about. Embracing the
past, but constantly seeking out the new, musically, professionally and
personally, keeps Glen out of his comfort zone, and at his best. Alive