Who was originally supposed to become the vocalist of the Sex Pistols?
In the first version of the Pistols, before the band had even decided on a name, Steve Jones was the singer. In the spring of 1975, they pushed out founder Wally Nightingale and Jones moved over to guitar. Malcolm McLaren suggested various candidates for the vacant frontman slot, including Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain (both of the New York Dolls), Richard Hell (of Television), and Midge Ure (who went on to be lead singer of Ultravox). In August ’75, John Lydon (later known as Johnny Rotten) walked into McLaren’s boutique Sex and got the job with a lip-synching performance. “I knew practically none of the records inside Malcolm’s jukebox because it was all that awful sixties mod music that I couldn’t stand,” Lydon said. “The only song I could cope with was Alice Cooper’s ‘Eighteen’. I just gyrated like a belly dancer.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)