Glen Matlock
The guide to surviving a life in music, by those who know best...

Glen Matlock, original Sex Pistol and Rich Kid, on the codes he's lived by...

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WHAT’S TO LEARN?
I think you never really learn anything - you do what you do, you make mistakes. You get better at it as you go along. I’m sure things sink in. I think the one thing I’ve learnt in the music business is to get to the very best lawyer you cannot possibly afford as soon as you possibly can. That’s a good tip.

WORK WITH THE BEST
I just like working with people who are good at what they do. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong in music. There’s only two types of music: there’s good music and there’s bad music. And to me, good music is well done music with consequence and spirit.

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YOUR TIME WILL COME
Music is about timing but you can’t predict when that time is. You can just do what you do, hope for the best, and keep an eye out for the moment. With the Pistols, we wouldn’t have formed a band without Malcolm McLaren and that whole Kings Road scene, and the three-day week, and rubbish being piled high in the streets. And a hung parliament!

KEEP IT SIMPLE
The way you play the guitar one day almost depends on what socks you got on or whether the shower was hot enough that morning. I think the danger for lots of musicians is they try and play too much. My maxim is: a simple thing done well. With maybe a little twiddly bit.

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DO YOUR DUTY
Songs are funny things - they’re insidious little things. You get an idea from nowhere and it starts nagging away in your head. Then you get the guitar and work it out. I only work on the ones that won’t go away, because if you can’t remember it then how can you expect anyone else to remember it? I’m a musician and songwriter, and the way I see it if you’re a fisherman and you don’t go fishing then you’re full of shit.

STAND YOUR GROUND
The Sex Pistols always knew we had something special; it was just a gut feeling. Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t be a mug. Have an open mind about things, and stand your ground. Do what you need to do.

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Glen Matlock’s ‘The Anarchy Arias’ is out now.

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