Paul Cook

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Paul Cook
Cook performing with Generation Sex in 2023
Cook performing with Generation Sex in 2023
Background information
Birth namePaul Thomas Cook
Born (1956-07-20) 20 July 1956 (age 67)[1]
Shepherd's Bush, London, England
OriginFinchley, London, England
Years active1975–present
Member of
Formerly of

Paul Thomas Cook (born 20 July 1956)[1] is an English drummer and musician. He is best known as the drummer and a founding member of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols, in addition to being a member of The Professionals. He is nicknamed "Cookie" by friends in the punk music scene.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Cook playing with the Sex Pistols in Paradiso, Amsterdam in 1977.

Cook was raised in Hammersmith and attended the Christopher Wren School, now Phoenix High School, London in White City Estate, Shepherd's Bush, where he met Steve Jones. The pair became good friends and while skipping school, in 1972–1973, Cook and Jones, along with their school friend Wally Nightingale, formed a band, The Strand.[3] Within the next three years The Strand evolved into the Sex Pistols.

Cook's early influences included Motown, ska and glam rock acts like David Bowie,[4] T. Rex, Roxy Music and Slade, in addition to drummers Kenney Jones of the Faces, Paul Thompson of Roxy Music, Al Jackson Jr. and Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.[5]

Cook is portrayed by Jacob Slater in the 2022 Craig PearceDanny Boyle FX biographical drama miniseries Pistol.

Later career[edit]

After the Sex Pistols suddenly broke up after their final concert in San Francisco on 14 January 1978, Cook and Jones initially worked on the soundtrack to Julien Temple's film, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. The two also recorded a few songs using the Sex Pistols name, Cook singing lead on the album version of the song "Silly Thing". The pair then started a new band, The Professionals, with Andy Allan. Allan caused some legal problems; he played bass on "Silly Thing" and the first few Professionals recordings, but had no recording contract and had been neither credited nor paid. Consequently, the Virgin Records compilation album Cash Cows, which featured The Professionals' track "Kick Down the Doors", was withdrawn. Cook and Jones played together on Johnny Thunders' solo album, So Alone.[6]

They released four singles, recorded a self-titled LP that was shelved until 1990, and released I Didn't See It Coming in November 1981.[7] The band's American tour to promote the album was cut short when band members Cook, Paul Myers, and Ray McVeigh were injured in a car crash.[8][9] While The Professionals did return to America in the Spring of 1982 after recovery, Jones and Myers' drug problems further hampered the band's prospects.[10] They declined an opening spot offer on tour for The Clash, and broke up.

In the early 1980s, Cook, along with Jones, discovered the English new wave girl-group Bananarama. Cook helped the trio record their debut single, "Aie a Mwana", and acted as a producer on their 1982 debut album Deep Sea Skiving.[11]

In the late 1980s, Cook surfaced with the group Chiefs of Relief with former Bow Wow Wow guitarist Matthew Ashman, and, after a period out of the music industry, played with Phil Collen in the 1990s. He also played on the Edwyn Collins song A Girl Like You, beginning a longstanding association with Collins as a session musician.[12] Cook reunited with the surviving Sex Pistols in 1996 for the Filthy Lucre world tour.

The Sex Pistols, including Paul Cook, played a gig for the 30th anniversary of Never Mind The Bollocks at the Brixton Academy on 8 November 2007. To meet demand, six further gigs were added, including two on 9 and 10 November.

In 2008, the Sex Pistols appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival as the headlining act on the Saturday night, the Peace and Love Festival in Sweden, the Live at Loch Lomond Festival in Scotland, and the Summercase Festival in Madrid.

Cook drummed with Man-Raze,[13] which also featured Phil Collen from Def Leppard and their friend Simon Laffy who used to play in Collen's pre-Leppard band, Girl. They released a debut album Surreal in 2008, and toured throughout the UK in late 2009.

In 2011, Cook joined Vic Godard and Subway Sect,[14] and renewed his collaborations with Paul Myers from The Professionals. Cook has worked with Godard, on and off, for the past two decades. They toured throughout 2012 and, in March 2012, recorded 1978 Now with Collins.

In celebration of the release of a three disc set (The Complete Professionals) by Universal Music Group for 16 October 2015, Cook, with Tom Spencer filling in for Steve Jones, reunited with The Professionals for a concert at the 100 Club.[15][16] In January 2016, the band announced a three show tour for 17 to 19 March.[17] A joint headline show featuring Rich Kids was announced at London's O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire for 16 May,[18] then rescheduled for 23 June due to the ongoing structural work at the venue.[19]

On 30 October 2018, Cook and Steve Jones joined Billy Idol and Tony James, formerly of Generation X, for a free entry performance at The Roxy in Hollywood, Los Angeles, under the name Generation Sex, playing a combined set of the two former bands' material.[20][21] The band reunited in 2023 for a European tour that included several festival appearances.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Cook lives in Hammersmith with his wife, Jeni Cook, formerly of Culture Club, and their daughter, Hollie Cook, a solo musician. Cook also played football for Hollywood United.[23]


  1. ^ a b "Paul Cook – Sex Pistols | The Official Website". Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ *Billy Idol called Paul Cook "Cookie" in his autobiography Drugs, sex & rock'n'roll.
    Steve Jones also called Cook as Cookie in his autobiography Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.
  3. ^ ::THE LOOK – adventures in rock and pop fashion:: » Tom Salter joins the dots between Strummer and the Pistols. (19 February 2008). Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Get bigger gigs with this essential guide to growing your audience". 24 June 2021.
  5. ^ Worley, Gail (14 June 2022). "An Interview with Drummer Paul Cook of Sex Pistols and Manraze". Ink 19. Melbourne, FL. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016.
  6. ^ Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers | Bio, Pictures, Videos. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  7. ^ Scanlon, James (6 December 2006). "Still Packing Heat". Czech Republic. Archived from the original on 4 November 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  8. ^ Prato, Greg (2004). "Paul Cook". New York: National Amusements. Archived from the original (All Music Guide) on 22 October 2004. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  9. ^ Myers, Paul; Singleton, Phil (25 March 2007). "Ray McVeigh, "All Washed Up", the car crash, America, the drugs". Part 2. UK: Archived from the original (Interview) on 31 May 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2022. I remember I was in the back seat and I thought our American driver.... for the last week prior to that there were a few near misses, and I remember it was about 2am in the morning and suddenly I saw these head-on lights coming towards us, and I shouted at the driver "you're on the wrong side of the road!" and then the impact. He wasn't on the wrong side of the road, the car crashed into us and the guy killed himself. But I was conscious all the way through it. My leg was really badly fractured. I remember a Police motorcyclist turning up saying "Don't worry about that guy, he just needs a hearse." What really angered me was there seemed to be a massive delay in cutting the car in half
  10. ^ Myers, Paul; Singleton, Phil (25 March 2007). "Escape from Leeds, the break-up, "I Didn't See It Coming", and Paul Myers today". Part 3. UK: Archived from the original (Interview) on 8 May 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  11. ^ The Agency Group | Shakespears Sister. Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  12. ^ Hooper, Mark. (21 May 2008) The miraculous tale of Edwyn Collins | Music | Guardian. Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  13. ^ Manraze. Manraze. Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  14. ^ Vic Godard & Subway Sect Homepage – New live dates, Interviews, pics & music from 1976–2011. (10 March 2012). Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
  15. ^ Myers, Paul; Singleton, Phil (30 July 2015). "The Professionals are back!". God Save The Sex Pistols. UK: Archived from the original (Interview and photos) on 8 May 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  16. ^ Canty, Ian (18 October 2015). "The Professionals: 100 Club". UK: Louder Than War. Archived from the original (Review, photo, set list) on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  17. ^ Canty, Ian (26 January 2016). "The Professionals announce short tour in March: Southampton Cardiff & Milton Keynes". UK: Louder Than War. Archived from the original (Feature about upcoming micro-tour) on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Rich Kids and The Professionals – Joint Headline Show Announced for the First Time EverWithGuitars". 3 February 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Rich Kids & The Professionals". Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Generation Sex". 29 October 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Generation Sex: King Rockers and Silly Things at the Roxy | L.A. Weekly". 1 November 2018. Archived from the original on 1 November 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  22. ^ louderthanwar (11 June 2023). "Generation Sex: Announced More Tour News". Louder Than War. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  23. ^ Hollywood United. Retrieved on 12 May 2012.

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