Thursday, April 26, 2007

And While We're On The Subject Of The Sex Pistols...

And, lest I forget to mention it, right now I am using the Freedom of Information Act (all perfectly legal, chaps, for any spooks and Men in Black reading this) to pursue a story that when the Sex Pistols embarked upon their ill-fated tour of the United States in January 1978 (a tour that saw the band spectacularly implode on stage in San Francisco - and which would be their final performance until their blisteringly good return in 1996), Britain's MI6 (the UK equivalent of the CIA) shared with the FBI its own secret files on the British bad-boys of punk.

In this photo (left) I'm stood outside the futuristic MI6 building that overlooks London's River Thames, pondering on, and salivating about, all those juicy files on the Sex Pistols that remain hidden from the prying eyes of those who like to ask penetrating and awkward questions.

In 2001, I interviewed a man named David Shayler, a former employee of MI5 (not to be confused with the above MI6), who blew the whistle on certain activities of his former spymasters, and whose story is told in the book Defending the Realm.

During the course of that interview, I asked Shayler about the Sex Pistols and British Intelligence. He told me (and as was also related within the pages of Defending the Realm) that while working for MI5, he read a file of press cuttings titled "Subversion in Contemporary Music" that included material on the Sex Pistols.

My reward when British authorities found out that I had met with Shayler (in the company of Mark Birdsall, editor of the British-based magazine Eye-Spy)? Nothing less than a phone-call from those same authorities ordering me to hand over the audio-cassette recording of the interview...

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