From The Desk Of The Primitives: The Beatles Song That Invented Punk

The Primitives have been invited to guest edit MAGNET this week, so we thought we’d spin right back through memory, as the line from the title track of our new album, Spin-O-Rama, goes (how’s that for a clever bit of crowbarring?), and revisit some music-related experiences from our childhood, youth and early days of the band. There’s also some other random stuff to do with the world of the Primitives. It’s been a pleasure putting all this together, as there wouldn’t normally be any reason to relay any of this stuff. So thanks MAGNET, we’re enjoying the delve.


Paul: When I was 16, I asked a Sex Pistol what he thought about John Lennon being murdered. This was early in 1981 and not long after it had happened. The Sex Pistol was Steve Jones and the location was the General Wolfe pub in Coventry where his band the Professionals had just come off stage. “Waste of facking bullets,” he sneered in response, which I thought was quite a nice answer, in that I took it to mean that he was still maintaing the obligatory Pistols’ anti-Beatles stance, but in a roundabout way was saying that it shouldn’t have happened. That Pistols anti-Beatles thing was mostly just punk posturing, of course. John Lydon even played a Lennon track on the radio recently and proclaimed him to be “one of my people.” Here’s “Birthday” by the Beatles in which at 0:58 they pretty much invent the sound of the Sex Pistols and then lay a template for the Stranglers in the following section of the song, and all this within the space of about 30 seconds.