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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Week 21: Fake

Arriving a little late again.

This delay was not urged through by the HTMPL Productions to cause you alarm, stress or even heart burn. The HTMPL office is a place of order and discipline. We have are habits. We have our rites.
However, we felt like you needed some good hours to digest the arrival of our latest collected efforts.

Off we go for a one and a half month descent into the shadow world of things that may not always be what they seem to be. The world of fakes and old-fashioned WWII propaganda. As we’re such nice fellows you will also get a bonus single at the end of this that has nothing to do with the themes but it’ll be something that’s so rare, it has never been re-released nor will it ever be, it will put at tear of joy in the eye of the collectors of this secretive band (and now you have all the clues you need).

It might not come as any surprise that we’re old punks here at the office, dating back to the heydays of the late 1970s. We might not look it any longer but our hearts still beats to the rhythm of 'Sheena Is A Punkrocker'. To us there’s not a punkband out there that ever could hold a candle to the Ramones or Sex Pistols. Well, the Ramones was really the greatest popband ever – sod the Beatles. As for the Pistols they were the ultimate punkband. But we won’t bore you with repeating their story yet another time. As we went through the archives there turned up the odd fake Pistol song now and then so we just gathered them up to take a closer look at what this really was.

The Sex Pistols had a sound man named Dave Goodman (who recently died by the way). After the band had called it quits a legal fury around the rights to the recordings aroused, tying up the band with their manager in court for years on end. As the legal difficulties went on Dave stepped into the vacuum. Releasing and repackaging what seemed like a never ending run of shoddy bootlegs with lousy sound, there’s at least fifty of these around. As if this wasn’t enough he sometimes sneaked in a track that claimed to be a never before released original by the Sex Pistols.
The first of these recordings would also turn out to be the best: Land of Hope & Glory (1984). Packaged to look like the real thing, but actually reading the ex pistols, it’s not that bad. The fellow on vocals is David Spiers from the Sinix, along with another band member on guitar. All recorded sometime around 1980. The next track turned up a year later on Live Worlwide (1985). 'Anarchy in the UK' with a piano, but this is not quite a fake, although its definitely not the Pistols, its actually Public Image Ltd doing their cabaret version live on 'The Tube' in 1983. Supposedly Dave just taped it off the telly and stuck it in there. Then there’s the more obvious sounding fakes like 'Schools Are Prison' (Pirates of Destiny, 1988) and Revolution in the Classroom ('We Have Cum For Your Children', 1988). The same year the double-LP 'The Swindle Continues' turned up with yet another bunch of faked tunes: 'Judging Minds', 'Dancing on the Dole' and an acoustic version of 'Anarchy in the UK', that’s not even a half-assed effort to imitate, likewise goes for the title track. Here’s also a medley called 'Sex on 45' which, once again, features the Sinix with Dave on bass. In later years former Pistols bass player Glen Matlock has admitted that he was involved in at least some of the above recordings. Needing the cash and blaming drunkenness. And that’s pretty much it. Worth mentioning otherwise, so that you don’t make the mistake of buying it, is the 'Live At Chelmsford Top Security Prison' with faked overdubs and even a faked riot (this one has been released without the faked additions, as 'Live At Chelmsford Prison'). Then there was one last album: 'The Sexless Pistols – Deny' (1992) which features some of the songs below and then some. But it’s not really pretending to be the Sex Pistols, so we leave it at that.

Shamelessness is not a virtue.

1. Fake Pistols – Land of Hope & Glory
2. Fake Pistols (Pil) – Anarchy in the UK
3. Fake Pistols – Schools Are Prisons
4. Fake Pistols – Revolution in the Classroom
5. Fake Pistols – Judging Minds
6. Fake Pistols – Dancing on the Dole
7. Fake Pistols – Anarchy in the UK (acoustic version)
8. Fake Pistols – The Swindle Continues
9. Fake Pistols – Sex on 45