‘Pistol’ Limited Series Explores ‘The Sex Pistols’ Band That Took the Music Industry by Storm on Hulu

NEW YORK — The Sex Pistols broke up in the late 1970s, but we’re still talking about punk music and the movement the band helped start. Not bad for a band that only released one studio album! Now, a limited series, “Pistol,” streaming now on Hulu will be a great primer for those too young to remember when those British boys shocked the music industry and literally took it by storm.

The group had been together for less than three years and disbanded more than four decades ago. In the six-part series titled “Pistol,” Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle seeks to explain why all the fuss and why we still care about this music today. “Why are they still fascinated by the Sex Pistols? Why are they still important all the years later?” I asked Boyle via Zoom. “I think they changed everything,” he replied.

In the 1970s, Britain was a land of limited opportunities for young people, and the Sex Pistols tapped into their rage. “Anger is an energy and there was this driving force, this explosive sound that emerged from it,” Boyle told me. Their strength was felt even before the release of the band’s debut album but, “‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ when it came out was so shocking that people were arrested for putting it in their window display!”

“Pistol is based on the memoir of the band’s guitarist, Steve Jones, who told me in 2017 that ‘The Sex Pistols were born to crash and burn. , “we didn’t plan to shake things up, it happened. It was just one of them, short, small periods in space and time that had to happen and dissolve .”

After the band broke up, bassist Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose after being charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. The actor who plays him, Louis Partridge, observed that “there is something strangely seductive about living fast and dying young”. The young actors immersed themselves in the music created the decade before their birth by the Sex Pistols. “And,” their director concluded, “their music holds up. It was great rock and roll. The tunes live and work, but it’s what they’ve done to our society that makes them eternal.”

“Pistol” is now streaming as part of “FX on Hulu,” and it fits right in among the edgy fare found under that banner. FX and Hulu are owned by Disney, which is the same parent company as ABC7.

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Alice P. Darby