“Have You Ever Feel You’re Being Cheated?” The Sex Pistols play their final gig with Sid Vicious on this day in 1978

Hours after the San Francisco Winterland concert, they disbanded and went individual ways

“Have You Ever Feel You’re Being Cheated?” The Sex Pistols play their final gig with Sid Vicious on this day in 1978

By 1978 the Sex Pistols were already the leaders of the Punk Rock music movement. The controversial British band who had just released their debut album some months earlier in 1977, “Nevermind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols” and several concerts across Europe, the Pistols, now with Sid Vicious on their line up as bass player, cross the Atlantic for their first American Tour, but in a time where the Disco sound dominated the American charts and general American audiences musical tastes, the Sex Pistols not only were a shock into a system but also deeply rejected by the American mainstream and their first tour was just, well, a series of unfortunate events.
A young band that hadn’t been prepared for professional success as musicians, the Pistols find themselves in very different landscapes from what they were used to in Europe, somehow, they get booked to play the Texas state on Cowboy bars and dance halls, the frustration the band feels with the audiences in Texas influences their own behavior to each other and in a matter of weeks it was decided that tour wouldn’t be completed and the band broke up. But before that, on January 14th, they played one of their most legendary gigs, at the San Francisco’s famous Winterland, home of Psychedelic East Coast Rock back in the late 1960’s. During the show, the band already had their mind set in not continuing the Sex Pistols, and at the end of the show, John Lyndon (or Johnny Rotten) says goodbye at the microphone with the now famous and enigmatic line “Have You Ever Feel You’re Being Cheated?”. That was the Sex Pistols final concert with their classic line up of Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Sid Vicious. Years later they reformed and toured again with their original bass player Glen Matlock. Also years later, Lyndon stated that the phrase was in fact pointed at the band themselves, and not to the audiences. He explained that he felt he was traveling on a freak show and none of them (maybe except for Sid Vicious) was enjoying playing together anymore, and hence he felt they were cheating themselves by continuing the American Tour. It was 40 years ago today, and you can watch the full concert bellow.

Watch the Sex Pistols live at the Winterland, San Francisco, January 14th, 1978

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