The day the Sex Pistols tricked the BBC when they performed “Pretty Vacant” at the Top Of The Pops

Despite the protests, the band’s first appearance on the popular chart show took place on July 21, 1977

The day the Sex Pistols tricked the BBC when they performed “Pretty Vacant” at the Top Of The Pops

The BBC was never too fond of the Sex Pistols during their rise to fame in 1977, however, despite protests, the then still often conservative British Broadcasting Corporation, finally accepted the band to play at the popular chart show Top Of The Pops on July 21, 1977. The Pistols, already with Sid Vicious on their line up replacing original bass player Glen Matlock, lip-synched their ABBA ballad “S.O.S.” inspired song “Pretty Vacant”, their third single, released on July 1 of 1977. The band had already seen their debut single, “God Save The Queen,” banned by the BBC as well as by independent UK radio, but their performance at the Top Of The Pops helped push the song up the charts to No.6. But had BBC realized the title is to be interpreted as “pretty va-cunt.”, they would had probably never been invited, watching the performance, it is notorious the John Lydon’s phrasing of the word “vacant”, emphasizing the last syllable to sound like the word cunt. The performance serves now as the official video for “Pretty Vacant” and remains an inspiring influence for Punk and Rock musicians, the song itself has became one of their most popular and most covered.



Look back at the 1977 Sex Pistols appearance on the Top Of The Pops performing “Pretty Vacant”



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