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Glen Matlock Remembers How to Rock, but Nearly Forgets the Songs That Put Him Where He Is

Glen Matlock doesn’t seem to have much time for the past, except the past as he sees it. Cover versions of the New York Dolls, or one or other size of The Faces, are fine. But the songs that he co-wrote? The songs that are responsible for what fame he has — for 200 people being out on a cold, virus-infested night, to see him?

Those songs — that single song, in fact 1 — is relegated to the encore.

Glen Matlock and his band at the Red Lion Ballroom in Leytonstone
Glen Matlock and his band at the Red Lion Ballroom in Leytonstone

There’s nothing wrong with keeping your best-known songs for the encore, of course. But when the ticket site said “Curfew: 10:30,” and it’s 10:27 and there hasn’t been a single Pistols song, you can start to get a bit twitchy.

On the plus side, he did introduce “Pretty Vacant” by saying, “This is ‘SOS’,” referring to his borrowing of the intro riff from the Abba song.

It was a good night, though. His originals and the covers were all fine. It’s just that, if you heard a no-name pub band playing those songs — well, you wouldn’t bother going out specially for it.

The night was billed as “Glen Matlock + Earl Slick.” I’m embarrassed to admit I had to look up who Slick was. Turns out he only replaced Mick Ronson in Bowie’s band, and worked with John & Yoko! And now he’s playing lead guitar in Glen Matlock’s band. Oh well.


  1. There’s no point in asking what that is. You’ll get no reply. 

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