Sham Pistols

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Sham Pistols
Origin England, United Kingdom
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1978-1979
Associated acts Sex Pistols
Sham 69
Past members Jimmy Pursey
Steve Jones
Paul Cook
Dave Tregunna

The Sham Pistols were a punk rock band composed of guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols, and vocalist Jimmy Pursey and bass player Dave Tregunna of Sham 69.


After the break up of The Sex Pistols, guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook were looking to form a new band. Various names were mentioned as new bandmates including Bob Geldof, but it was vocalist Jimmy Pursey and bass player Dave Tregunna from fellow punk band Sham 69 who were recruited. Paul Cook told Gary Bushell of Sounds in July 79 "Jim is the only person who's come along who we can get on with. E's the same as us, see". At what was intended to be Sham 69's final concert at the Glasgow Apollo Theatre on June 29, 1979 Jones and Cook had joined Sham onstage for the encore of "Pretty Vacant", "White Riot", "If the Kids Are United" and "What Have We Got". This was to be the start of the new band.

In July 79, Pursey told the NME that they had recorded 10 songs — seven originals and three cover versions — and that they would be ready to tour by September that year. Among the songs the group were planning to play live were "Silly Thing", "Lonely Boy", "Submission" and "Pretty Vacant" from the Sex Pistols and "Joey's on the Street" and "If the Kids are United" from Sham 69.

Sham 69 were still contractually bound to deliver a further two albums for Polydor and with Cook and Jones signed to Virgin this meant Virgin coming to an arrangement with Polydor. Pursey had wanted to use the name 'The Sex Pistols' while Paul Cook later stated that he and Jones had no intention of using the name. Pursey had told Gary Bushell "Now I feel that the Pistols can be a band that have something to say. We're not digging the name up just to make money out of it like Virgin did with Vicious". Simon Draper, Managing Director of Virgin Records told Melody Maker "Whoever joins Cook and Jones will be part of the Sex Pistols".


Time was spent at Manor Studios in Oxfordshire where "Natural Born Killer" was produced. This was later reworked as The Professionals' "Kick Down the Doors". Another song "Some Play Dirty" was quoted with lyrics by Pursey in an interview with Nick Kent in the NME of October 1979. The studio recording of Natural Born Killer didn't see the light of day for over 30 years, but the encore at the Glasgow Apollo was released on Sham's Last Stand and Sham 69 Live in Glasgow 1979. The latter miscredits the Sham song "George Davis is Innocent (also known as "The Cockney Kids are Innocent" and "Everybody's Innocent") as the Sex Pistols' "No One is Innocent".

In January 2010, a bootleg vinyl album emerged entitled Sham Pistols - Natural Born Killer. This includes four studio tracks said to be recorded by the Sham Pistols in June 1979 at Manor Studios but only Natural Born Killer is by the Sham Pistols. The vinyl album also included the previously released encore at the Glasgow Apollo.


On 19 August Cook and Jones walked out of a recording session with Jones saying "It's worse than working with Rotten". Pursey stated "It was absurd, the difference between us, when we got into the studio. Then I knew it could never work out". In July Sham 69 guitarist Dave Parsons had prophetically told Gary Bushell "I don't think it's gonna last that long cos Jim always likes to be 100% in control". After the dissolution of the band, Cook and Jones went on to form The Professionals and Pursey moved on to solo projects, later reforming Sham 69.


Sham Pistols - Natural Born Killer[edit]


  • Sham's Last Stand (1993) - Dojo DOJOCD95 & Snapper SMMCD 540
  • Sham 69 Live in Glasgow 1979 (2001) - Sanctuary Records CMRCD351
  • Sham Pistols Natural Born Killer" (PunkClassics 2010) - PCLP57016


  1. Savage, Jon (2002). England's Dreaming. Faber & Faber. 
  2. Scrivener, Tony (1992). Agents Of Anarchy. Kingsfleet Publications. 
  3. Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary 1970-1982. Backbeat Books. 
  1. Sham69 - History (Part 3) (
  2. (
  3. Kick Down the Doors - The Paul Cook 'N' Steve Jones Site
  1. Melody Maker, 7 July 1979
  2. Sounds, 7 July 1979
  3. NME, 21 July 1979
  4. NME, 27 October 1979

External links[edit]

  1. The Paul Cook 'N' Steve Jones Site :
    1. The Swindle Years (Part 2)
    2. Sham Pistols - Live In Glasgow
    3. Sham Pistols - Natural Born Killer (