Thirty years ago yesterday, the Sex Pistols ended their ill-fated U.S. tour with this show at San Francisco’s Winterland – a venue which would close later that year (marked by a New Year’s Eve finale show by the Grateful Dead – available on CD as The Closing of Winterland).
In early January, the Pistols embarked on their first U.S. tour with a string of dates through the Deep South – purposely booked by their manager Malcolm McLaren to create an atmosphere of tension and hostility. Mission accomplished! Sid Vicious was deep into his heroin habit by then, and increasingly hostile to the audience. Fights would break out, people would attack him on stage. It was ugly. Johnny Rotten was increasingly disillusioned during the tour. He was disgusted by Sid’s behavior, and found himself more and more isolated from Steve Jones and Paul Cook (the other members of the band).
By the time they made it to San Francisco for their January 14th show, enough was enough. After the final song, a cover of the Stooges tune “No Fun” (not coincidental, it would seem), Rotten famously exclaimed: “Ever get the feeling you’re being cheated? Good night.” And walked off the stage. That was it for the band – at least in that incarnation.
The Sex Pistols
Live at Winterland, San Francisco
January 14th, 1978
God Save The Queen
I Wanna Be Me
Belsen Was A Gas
Holidays In The Sun
Anarchy In The U.K.