March 2, 2012
Never Mind The Bollocks Really Holds Up

I’m saying this as a guy who owns less than 100 albums on CD - but considering what I’ve listened to having bought it for myself, or mooched from my twin brother in order to rip them to my computer, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols really holds up if I say so from the point of view of a bloke who isn’t Musically Oblivious Teenager anymore but isn’t exactly giving Hipster Kitty a run for her money either.

I’m saying that in my teenage years I may or may not have BEEN a male version of Musically Oblivious Teenager, is what I’d say to not beat around the bush. I didn’t know a lot about music when I was seventeen, I wasn’t even one of the kids who worshipped Top 40 radio pop, I was just raised by wolves or something when it came to music as far as my friends were concerned.

But the first real album I remember buying without real embarrassment was Never Mind The Bollocks.

I must have listened to it all the way through, twenty, maybe a hundred times back when John Howard was in power in Australia. It wasn’t just the reputation this album had that drew me to it. It was the fact that it challenged my sensibilities from Track Two onwards.

First track when I listened to it at age seventeen was like, “oh, they’re singing about the Berlin Wall, edgy for its time, I guess, Berlin Wall got torn down though…” - but then Track Two comes along and at that point I was personally concerned that my parents would bust me listening to Johnny Rotten singing about FUCKING ABORTION.

You don’t even know how sheltered I was back then, even as a seventeen year old teenager. I was like Butters from South Park sheltered, with an Aussie accent. I barely even understood what abortion was back then, let alone the clusterfuck of F-bombs fired in that track alone that made me turn down the volume or scramble for the iTunes pause button real fast whenever I heard my parents trying to get me to come to dinner.

These days I don’t even bat an eye at watching Cannibal Holocaust or something, but this was way before the fateful day I bought an uncut copy of Caligula from the Burwood EzyDVD in defiance of my own nation’s standards of decency. This was back when I was worried about being carded for Tarantino movies when my brother tried to rent them at Civic Video.

Never Mind The Bollocks has no Warning 18+ or Parental Advisory Tipper Gore sticker on it. History has released Johnny Rotten from the 21st Century’s child protectionist burden. Maybe that’s why the small act of rebellion by purchasing this Punk Magna Carta on CD was such a surprising political act.

I had no idea what the hell that disc contained then, and five or so years on I listened to it again and I’m still not sick of it. It has staying power. I like art that has staying power.

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