Forty years ago tonight, the Sex Pistols brought chaos to Dallas

11:34 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 Austin360 Home
LOUIE FAVORITE/AJC
Johnny Rotten sings to the crowd at The Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta, GA, January 5, 1978. Five days later, the Sex Pistols would play at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas.

Variations of the photo are familiar to most everyone interested in Texas music history. There’s the large sign for the historic Dallas venue The Longhorn Ballroom, and on the marquee beneath it: Sex Pistols (Tonite!) and Merle Haggard.

Haggard, of course, was on his way to becoming one of the most legendary country artists in history. But it’s not his show that’s remembered. The Sex Pistols’ show — it happened on this date in 1978 — was little more than half an hour of chaos and infamy. 

And, by most accounts, they sucked.

Forty years is a pretty good anniversary and Dallas Morning News columnist Robert Wilonsky has written about the show:

All I remember from that surreal night are the TV reporters who broke into prime-time programming to report live from the spectacle of white dopes on punk descending upon the Corinth Street honky-tonk for Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious and their imported freak show rumored to be drenched in spittle, blood and other bodily fluids. The impression was everlasting.

Read Wilonsky’s column here: The Sex Pistols came to Dallas 40 years ago this week and bled all over the snow

While we’re looking back, here’s a few more:

Former Statesman writer Michael Corcoran: The Punk Rock Alamo: Pistols in S.A.

Rolling Stone: The Sex Pistols in Texas

Texas Monthly: On Tour With the Sex Pistols

And a look back at the venue: Saving the Longhorn Ballroom, Texas’s Most Historic Music Venue