When the Sex Pistols formed in 1975, manager Malcolm McLaren, self-destructive bassist Sid Vicious (who pretty much embodied punk), venomous front man Johnny Rotten and the iconic track “God Save the Queen” gave a big f___-you to mainstream society. Turns out the group was as combustible as its infamous and explosive stage shows. Rotten announced the band’s split onstage at a concert in San Francisco on Jan. 14, 1978, saying, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” following a one-song encore of a Stooges song. He had tired of squabbling with McLaren and being around heroin-addicted Vicious, whom he referred to as a “waste of space.” The group demonstrated its anger at Rotten’s sudden announcement by abandoning him in Los Angeles with no money, no plane ticket home to England and — just as he had wanted — no band.
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