The Modern Lovers, Pere Ubu, and Blondie were ready to rip up 1976

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

In 1980, Tom Snyder had an epic late-night standoff with John Lydon

Talk-show host Tom Snyder, who would have turned 80 today (he died in 2007), was always an oddity in late-night television. He wasn’t a comedian and didn’t possess a glib, facile wit. He wasn’t even particularly slick or polished on air, despite his many years in TV and radio. What he did possess was a boundless…

How do you sleep?: 23 highly specific rock and roll diss tracks

After 1992’s Slanted And Enchanted, critics started writing about Pavement as the voice of the slacker generation, and on the 1994 followup Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, frontman Steven Malkmus seemed to take that tag seriously. Alongside “state of alt-rock” addresses like “Cut Your Hair” and “Fillmore Jive,” Malkmus…

David Bowie gave the punk movement both fuel and fire

“Five years / That’s all we got.” So sings David Bowie with apocalyptic doom in his 1972 song “Five Years.” It’s the opening track of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, the critical and commercial apex of Bowie’s career as a glam-rock artist. Within a couple of years, glam would be on the…

Denver, see the new doc about The Damned tonight and win Riot Fest tickets

Howdy! Senior Writer Jason Heller here. Over the course of my many years at The A.V. Club, I’ve never exactly made it a secret how much I love ’77 punk, or one of the movement’s first, best, and most boundary-pushing bands, The Damned. Not only did The Damned famously release the first single and the first album of…

Virgin Money’s Sex Pistols credit card to spread anarchy on your credit report

Virgin Money, Sir Richard Branson’s bank, is apparently planning to issue a series of Sex Pistols-themed credit cards, an announcement that has left shocked punk fans thinking, “Holy shit, Richard Branson is rich enough to own his own bank?” As for the whole Sex Pistols thing: what do you really expect from a band…

Steve Jones talks about acting, Sex Pistols, and life’s miscellanea

Steve Jones has tackled a number of endeavors over the course of his career, including writing and recording music, hosting a radio show (Jonesy’s Jukebox), and even a bit of acting. But there’s little question that he’s best known for the time he spent as guitarist for the Sex Pistols. Jones’ rock ’n’ roll background…

Johnny Rotten will star in Jesus Christ Superstar with members of ’N Sync and Incubus

John Lydon, the erstwhile Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame, will play King Herod in a North American touring version of Jesus Christ Superstar, the ’70s Broadway sensation about some awesome singer/King Of The Jews guy. Much like Rotten himself, Jesus Christ Superstar was once seen as subversive and even dangerous,…