As part of the The Sex Pistols notorious tour of the America (mostly through the South) one of the venues they played was Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they got a decidedly less than warm welcome. In this entertaining and fascinating video, several Tulsa locals who were involved in the Pistols’ show reminisce on what it was like to be in the middle of the punk rock tornado that touched down on T-Town one night in 1978.
Bliss was the opening act for The Pistols at Cain’s. A longhaired rock band with more in common with REO Speedwagon and Kansas than punk, one can only imagine what Mr. Rotten and the boys thought of this extremely odd pairing.
One of the more interesting outcomes of The Pistols’ performance at Cain’s was that it prompted the club to expand its booking policy from mostly country and western and classic rock to include punk and new wave. Cain’s is currently one of the best music venues in the USA and there’s an argument to be made that The Pistols helped trigger the evolution of the joint from something conventional into something much more adventurous.
Another thing I like about this video is the complete and utter coolness of the men being interviewed. They recognize that they didn’t quite “get” The Pistols back in 1978, but are more than willing to give the Brit punkers credit for bringing some much-needed change to rock ‘n’ roll and I think they respect the balls it took for Lydon and company to do it on such hostile turf.
The video is nicely done by the folks at This Land Press. Your host: Lee Roy Chapman.