The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle

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A Cornelius novel, ostensibly a novelisation of the Sex Pistol biopic. It was revised as Gold Diggers of 1977, the textual differences are highlighted here.

Publishing History (UK)

  • Newspaper, Virgin, 48pp., ISBN: 0-907080-07-3, May 1980
  • Paperback, Virgin, 128pp., ISBN: 0-907080-13-8, 5 Mar 1981, Cover by Russell Mills

tgrnrs_virg79.jpg tgrnrs_virg80.jpg

Omnibus Publication

See Also

Mike Says

  • "The book was actually written in ten days, ten chapters, to come out as a free newspaper which was given away at the original cinema performances! It was later published as a book by Virgin. It was then revised as 'Gold Diggers of 1977' and went into a Jerry Cornelius collection. I revised it in order to protect my own rights to the story."[1]
  • "Maxim Jackubowski was boss of Virgin Books in 1980 when, as a result of various complications, I was broke. 'What d'you think of the Sex Pistols ?' Maxim asked me as he tossed aside The Entropy Tango he was rejecting. 'Not a lot,' I said, made cynical by recent argie bargie. 'We'll pay you handsomely to do the book of The Great Rock and Roll Swindle in ten days, to be published as a newspaper to be given away free in the theatres where it's playing.' 'How handsomely?' I asked. 'Very handsomely,' he said, naming a figure. 'Rule Brittania!' I said and wrote a chapter a day over the next ten days while a lover/ex-lover alternately took overdoses or came at me with a kitchen knife and [...] watched the tape of the movie which was not allowed to leave my hands and pirates, getting wind of the event, sent me massive bribes to 'mislay' the tapes for a couple of hours[;] delivering the chapter to the Virgin courier who turned up at 6pm every evening for that day's work. But my main reason was to stand up a bit for Glen Matlock, tone down Malcolm's self-serving rhetoric and have Irene Handl play Mrs Cornelius! Pistols had become more posture than punk by then, I think, though I have to say they pulled themselves together later."[2]



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