BOOK REVIEWS PAGE 4
Jeff Bench - REX Collections THE SEX PISTOLS
Jeff Bench - REX Collections THE SEX PISTOLS (Reynolds & Hearn 2005)
Ok, yet another Sex Pistols book.

REX Features is a big UK photo agency and this book's main thing is a selection of pics of the band that the agency has in it's archives. Some classics here, and many that haven't been published lately, or at all. Most of the shots are from the 70's, mainly 1976, and some are really great. There's more than a 100 photos here, so if you're a Sex Pistols fan this is a pretty good book. There are over 20 photographers represented, with most shots being by either Richard Young or Ray Stevenson. It's cool to see the contact sheets from some of the sessions.

A few non-Pistols pics in here too, to set the mood of the 70's. There's a really funny shot of a guy selling red, white and blue jubilee sausages, and some of assorted punks. Viv and Malcy gets a few pages too. There are a few photos from more recent years including the 100 Club Press Con, the Filthy Lucre Tour and John's appearance on the ''I'm A Celeb'' show.

The author Jeff Bench doesn't seem to know much about the band. The book has some strange omissions and factual errors. It says that the Filthy Lucre Tour was a UK only tour and that the band only played in the US in 1978 and 2003. It seems very sloppy research wise, especially since it includes a 2-page spread pic of the very first reunion gig, which of course was in Finland and not in Finsbury Park as Bench would have you believe. Didn't anyone proof read in before they sent it to the printers? You know, like: ''If they didn't play outside the UK in 1996 why is there a shot from Paris taken that year on page 152?''.

The only part of the text that I thought was good was a piss-take of how the history and origins of punk are explained by sociologists, music journalists, costume historians and style gurus.

This book will appeal to the people who pays 12.99 UK Pounds for another Sex Pistols photo book added to their collection. They know the story already. They also want the photos untouched. Adding ''ANARCHY IN THE U.K.'' and ''CASH FROM CHAOS'' all over the pics doesn't improve the images at all. Even if that's only done at the start of every chapter, leaving most pics intact, it is still annoying.

It's an ok book, that could have been great. They could have taken a look at the Dennis Morris books and seen how this kind of thing should be done. None of his pics are in it by the way. The number of good, rare pictures puts this in the top half of a list of Sex Pistols books. Maybe even the top 10. Buy it when it is on sale.

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