Today marks the 36th anniversary of the Sex Pistol’s infamous Jubilee river boat performance of God Save the Queen. On 7 June 1977 Virgin records and the band’s manager Malcolm McLaren chartered a private boat to host a Sex Pistols performance. God Save the Queen had been released on 27 May but banned from being played on the radio or TV. The river boat performance was timed to coincide with the height of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, including a river pageant due to take place on the 9 June. The trip ended up with the arrest of many of the band’s entourage, including McLaren, after police boats forced the boat to dock.
This photograph from the band’s performance on the boat was taken by the photographer Dennis Morris, and comes from the England’s Dreaming: the John Savage Archive held here by us in the library at LJMU. We have a few other photographs and photocopies of photographs from the trip in the collection, including pictures of the police boats drawing up alongside. More information about the John Savage collection held here, including a catalogue of the material, can be found on our website.
Photograph: copyright Dennis Morris