The Sex Pistols

Icons of the Century

They came not to praise rock and roll, but to bury it. And while they imploded just over two years into that kamikaze mission, the Sex Pistols’ calls to “destroy” resonate as loudly — and snottily — now as they did in the accursed disco era.

They talked the talk but also walked the walk, terrorizing media mavens and little old ladies alike with foul-mouthed screeds about anarchy and spilled bodily fluids.

That sensationalized image may have burned the band into the collective consciousness back in the ’70s, but their legacy endures thanks to the unshakable immediacy of those buzzsaw anthems — and the timelessness of a raised middle finger emerging from the sleeve of a black leather jacket.

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