Johnny Rotten [Sex Pistols] recalls being in studio with Queen


‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ Track by Track As the British punk landmark turns 40, Johnny Rotten and Glen Matlock look back
27 October 2017 by Kory Grow

Sex Pistols

Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten and Glen Matlock break down every track on ‘Never Mind the Bollocks,’ as the album turns 40. Ray Stevenson/REX/Shutterstock

“Bollocks was such a solid piece of work, yet when we were recording it, it felt anything but,” says Johnny Rotten, looking back on the watershed 1977 LP Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. By his account, the group was working with a producer who was “deaf in one ear and tone deaf in the other,” and he and his bandmates had to cram a lot into their time in the studio.

“Next door, Queen was recording one of their albums [News of the World] and Brian May asked me if I would do some backing vocals on their album,” Rotten says.

“I don’t remember which song, it’s not the ‘Galileo’ one. But I went in and it was amazing to hear the way that Freddie [Mercury] recorded every line separately – sometimes just a word – and then they’d edit them. Bloody hell, I got one take and that’s it; I’d get two if I made a mistake. I eventually realized that the music will overcome, regardless of the alleged rules and regulations that were always being thrown at us.”