My Haven, Glen Matlock: The Sex Pistols bassist (Daily Mail’s Weekend Mag)

By Anna Behrmann

The Sex Pistols bassist, rock guitarist and composter, 61, in the living room of his west London home.

My Haven, Daily Mail Weekend



I still live close to Kensal Green, where I grew up. I’ve kept this harmonica from my nan, Amy Davies, who was quite musical. She worked nearby, in a powder puff factory with my mum, Barbara. The owners were easy-going with my nan. She’d sit there writing poems about everyone in the factory, taking the mick out of them, in a nice way. I used to have to go to the factory when I’d broken a neighbour’s window playing football in the street to say, ‘Mum, I’m in trouble.’


I won the arts and crafts prize at school and chose this Toulouse-Lautrec book. I then went on to Saint Martins School of Art and I also worked in Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s boutique on the King’s Road in Chelsea. That’s where I met Steve Jones and Paul Cook, and joined the Sex Pistols. We were looking for a singer when Johnny Rotten came in. He had a great way with a lyric, the gift of the gab, and a chip on his shoulder.


Steve, Paul and I really liked the Faces. They were the only band in town that seemed to have a laugh. The 70s were a funny time – rubbish was piled up and there were power cuts as everyone was on strike. Our song God Save The Queen was originally called No Future. It seemed that was true unless someone did something about it, which we did. Years after I left the Sex Pistols, Ian McLagan from the Faces invited me to perform with them. It was such a buzz.


Rock’n’roll involves lots of hanging around, and I ended up drinking too much. One day I was walking to the pub at 11am and thought I’d better eat something, so bought some crisps. Halfway through the packet I saw my name inside. I freaked out and dropped it. When I picked it up, I saw the outside had a pop quiz on it: ‘Who was the Sex Pistols’ original bassist? See inside for answer.’ I felt a bit of an idiot but it was a wake-up call. I didn’t drink as much after that, and I’ve hung onto this packet as a reminder.


This is a photo from when my dad Stan was in the air force in Khartoum on National Service. He was good at sport, so spent a lot of his time playing cricket or football. When he came back, he worked for Rolls-Royce and was in their cricket club – this booklet is from its 1970 season. The pictures from a photo booth are of me with my mum, who liked a laugh, a drink, and to go dancing.


This is a collection of memorabilia from my career. I’ve kept the handwritten set list from our first Sex Pistols gig. On the back of it I’d written a note: ‘Dad, please wake me up when you get up.’ I did the artwork too for some flyers for the Roxy, the London nightclub that launched punk here. I’ve also kept a memory of the first time I went to the States – my backstage pass for when I played with Iggy Pop in 1979.

Glen’s new album, Good To Go, is out 24 August and he plays at Boisdale, Canary Wharf from 30 July-3 August. 

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