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Young Flesh Required: Growing Up With The Sex Pistols [Paperback]

Mick O'Shea Alan G. Parker
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2011
Think you know the story of the Sex Pistols? Think again...

Alan G. Parker and Mick O Shea have spent much of their adult lives following the Sex Pistols and their names are almost synonymous with them. Both have previously written bestselling books on the subject and Alan has also directed the critically acclaimed film Who Killed Nancy. Young Flesh Required brings together extensive research, exclusive interviews and personal reflections to tell the stories behind the newspaper headlines and get to the heart of the band.

Alan and Mick s contact books read like a Who s Who of Punk Rock and here readers will find first-hand accounts from Glen Matlock and Malcolm McLaren, behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Roadent (who jumped ship as roadie for the Clash to work for the Sex Pistols) and interviews with contemporaries such as Captain Sensible, various Buzzcocks and many more.

Young Flesh Required charts not only the formation, early years and break-up of the group but also their numerous reunion gigs, right up to the present day doings of the band members. There are many rare and previously unseen photographs, along with images of hard-to-find memorabilia, making this a unique and fascinating book.

The Sex Pistols were the young flesh that Malcolm McLaren required to satisfy his artistic and financial ambitions. Here is their real story.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Soundcheck Books (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956642012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956642011
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 595,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Alan G. Parker has forgotten more about the Sex Pistols than most writers could research in a lifetime." --London Evening Standard

From the Publisher

Working on this book with Alan G. Parker and Mick O'Shea was tremendous fun. Both have an incredible knowledge of the band's inner circle and this comes across in the book. We would meet up to discuss progress on the book in the bar at the Sanctum Hotel in Piccadilly, which is rock'n' roll central as loads of famous bands stay there when they are in London. People like me wouldn't normally get past the doorman, but Alan is well known there. He'd reel off names of people who had contributed to the book, but for me the real star is Steve Connolly A.K.A. Roadent. He roadied for the Clash then jumped ship to work for the Pistols, so his anecdotes are priceless. Another star is Brian Jackson A.K.A. The 6th Pistol. Brian has a mountain of memorabilia on the band and was kind enough to let us use it in the book. So, if you are interested in bootleg cover images from Japan, for example, look no further. There has been a lot written about the Pistols, so why this book? Simple. Alan first met Sid's mum in 1984 and she asked him to write a book clearing her son's name over the murder of Nancy. Since then, Alan has lived and breathed the band. This is his last word on them as he concentrates on his new career as a film director. It is honest, heartfelt and, by turns, hilarious and touching.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The last word on the Sex Pistols 12 Sep 2011
According to popular belief, before punk the world was split into mods, rockers, teddy boys and hippies.

Whether this is true or not doesn't really matter. What's for certain is that despite lasting about five minutes, the influence left by the first wave of punk still resonates today. Punk reinvigorated metal; the mainstream has been under constant attack from pop-punk like Green Day for years and the grunge scene was punk to its core.

At the centre of the punk story is the Sex Pistols. Four oiks from London and their ambitious manager took the UK by storm and it's fair to say (though some will cite the Clash or American counterparts The Ramones) without them the musical and cultural landscape of today would be unrecognisable. And in all likelihood teddy boys and Cliff Richard would still rule.

Unlike many important acts though, the Pistols influence has never been forgotten, and so the literature on them is far from lacking. Every book on punk and popular music will have more than a fleeting reference to the band, and the amount of ink dedicated to them is vast in itself.

So does the world need another book on the Sex Pistols? If you have only a passing interest and already know the story, probably not. But then you wouldn't be reading this review. If you don't know those events of the late seventies or are a die-hard punk this is definitely worth picking up.

Authors Alan G. Parker and Mick O'Shea know their stuff. Saying they are veritable encyclopaedias on the subject would be an understatement. They've both written plenty on both music and punk (especially the infamous Sid Vicious) and Parker has released films and documentaries on the subject too, so the reader is in safe hands.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pistols in detail... 4 Sep 2011
The last book that I bought about The Sex Pistols was the Sex Pistols file - published 30 years ago. That wasn't so much a book, it was more like a pictorial.

This book by Alan G Parker follows his previous efforts - which I have not read.

I loved the book, I couldn't put it down. I'm now 50 years old - and I think that with my growing age I am a stickler for detail. The detail in this book is spot on. The facts come across as extremely well researched, and if you like detail - well it's all there for you. Photos - yes there are a few. There were some shots I hadn't seen before (The Pistols at a table in Langhan's, with Michael Caine on the next table) and some good pics of rare overseas releases and bootlegs. But pictures are not what this book is about - it's about FACTS.

The book guides you through London from the mid 70's onwards. There are good descriptions of the places the band used to hang, and the clothes and fashions they used to wear. The Sex Pistols entourage of family, roadies, record execs and hangers-on are well described. I was able to envisage the individuals as if I had known or met them myself.

I found that this book prompted me to hit the Google button on my laptop numerous times. After reading so much about 430 King's Road - I had to google it to see an image of what it looked like. Also, I knew nothing of The Heartbreakers from America and their relationship with Nancy Spungen. I used Wikipedia to find out more info about them...

The book has left me knowing lots more about the Punk scene than I thought I knew. I have also used itunes to make a few Pistols purchases to update my ipod...

Alan (and co-writer Mick O'Shea) thanks for taking me back to a past era. The energy, the fury and the filth, were all in your book. Thanks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's a Swindle 4 Dec 2012
By M Clark
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rubbish! Poorly written book. Avoid at all cost would be my advice here. It's a swindle.If you want the facts and well written ones at that read the books by Savage, Lydon and Matlock. That is all.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Fun 9 Sep 2011
At the end of this book, Alan Parker remarks that that writing will be "becoming very much a secondary part of my career." It seems he is focussing on his directing vocation. Is that a promise, Alan? I am not sure of how much an input his co-author Mick O'Shea had in this biography of the second-most important band in the history of rock 'n' roll but Parker's hulking, presence is all over it. I can only assume that after the book was written, a new laptop was required as the inverted comma/2 key must have been worn out. As with the unnecessary use of exclamation marks, the over use of inverted commas is usually a bad sign in a biography. Whilst picking up on stylistic/grammar faux pas is hardly going to do my punk rock credentials any good, this band deserve better. The text is full of in-jokes. suggestions that the authors are bosom buddies with the key players, has an abundance of "look at my bootleg collection" photos (very similar to the scrapbook that is The Clash-themed Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg, also by Parker) but, essentially tells us nothing we didn't know before. Actually, it tells us plenty of things we didn't know before, such as the existence of a band called Blink 142 and the fact that the Manchester bomb of 1996 came three days before the band's reunion press conference on March 18th that year. As someone who has lived in Manchester all his life (or anyone who could actually be bothered to research his tenuous link), the bomb exploded on 15th June. All in all, a very poor book, read what Jon Savage has to say, not some collector/trainspotter.
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