Collector or Sad Bastard?

First published in F&F11, December 1999
© 1999 / F&F Publishing

Fodderstompf: This article was first published in F&F11. It ruffled so many feathers that I just couldn't resist putting it on Fodderstompf. Why not print it out and stick it in your Metal Box!

By Scott M

Beam me upWe all collect Pistols stuff to some extent, some more than others, but we all know it's not exactly 'punk' is it? It's an absolute contradiction on everything punk and the Pistols are about. But fuck it, it doesn't matter, who cares, we want our Pistols mugs and limited edition postcards!

I don't have a problem with people collecting stuff, I do it myself, but sometimes I feel it's dicing with sadness. What's really the difference between collecting Sex Pistols stuff and collecting model trains, or Star Trek stuff? The Pistols stuff might have more 'street cred', but I think it's still the same ball park.

We all have mates who just don't get why we would want to collect stuff, they look at us as if we are loonies, and secretly we know they call us sad (though my mates aren't exactly secret about it to me!). Of course with the Pistols we can pretend we're buying it as an investment, "This stuff is worth a fortune", "Sell it then", they say, "Well, you see, well, umm, er... oh look over there who's that behind you..."!!

When I watch one of those obsessive Michael Jackson or Star Wars fans on TV, with their bedrooms full of stuff, top to bottom, or worse still dressed up, and I think what an absolute wanker they are, I sometimes stop an think 'Oh, fuck' is that how people see me? I mean I don't have much of a collection anymore, and I certainly don't dress up like them, but at one point my room was covered, and I mean covered...

As much as I can understand collecting stuff I think there is a limit between collecting and obsession. I mean there is no fucking way I'd ever pay £100 on a bit of paper, or £300 on an old T-shirt, but I know there are people reading who would, and do. I'm not having a go at them, it's not as if I've never bought stuff at inflated prices, but it's mental when you think about. Fucking insane! I suppose we've all got to have a hobbie, and while it might be socially acceptable to spend over £20 on a football ticket, or pissing it up a wall, if you tell those same people you spent over £20 on a 7" single they'd call you a prick! Unfortunately, I do them all!

I know I'm not that much of a sad cunt, but I know I like the Pistols far more than people I know like their favourite band, if they even have one! It's probably worse for me, I do a fanzine on a band who split up 20 years ago, and as good as I know the zine is, when I tell people I do a zine, I sometimes see their reaction and feel like a right cunt!

Doing a zine can be a knife edge between obsession and sadness, I've seen some scary zines in my time! I like to think I've got the right balance, if they behave like cunts I'll say it, they all get the zine but I'm pandering to no one but myself.

As unlikely as it may seem I don't consider myself 'obsessed' by the Pistols, I have plenty of other interests, sometimes I go months without listening to 'NMTB', but I know there are people reading this who are obsessed. It seems to me that there is a minority of people out there who live their lives through the Pistols. They spend huge amounts of their time and money on them, they're not interested in any other bands, or any other kind of music, they're stuck in a rut. Exactly the opposite of what the Pistols were supposed to be about. I'm not necessarily knocking them, but if those same people were as obsessed with Star Trek their lives wouldn't be worth living. They wouldn't make the bus stop!

I'm not having a go at anyone, as I say I'm as bad as anyone, maybe worse, I do a fanzine on them and I've got to deal with it every day. But at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is 'NMTB', the rest is flannel.

It's cool were so into something that it's totally changed our lives, but I think we've got to put it into perspective. That said, in all honesty I don't really care what people who don't like the band think of 'my obsession' because I've been doing it long enough, I've heard ALL the jokes. I love doing the zine and I fucking love the Sex Pistols, there's never been anyone like them and there never will be...

Sorry if I've upset anyone here (not really). It's not aimed at anyone in particular, I just thought it HAD to be said...

Which side of the bed are you on?


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