Recognized as one of the key inventors of punk and celebrated as a living legend, guitarist and songwriter Steve Jones revisits his unruly, and often tragic, past in his upcoming autobiography, Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol, due this January from Da Capo Press. Its release will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the band's platinum debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks, which set the world on fire in 1977.
In Lonely Boy, Jones recounts the nihilistic songs, amphetamine-fueled music, and influential anarchical fashion that turned a street urchin into a founding member of a genre-defining band. From his days of petty crime and havoc-wreaking in England, to his first impression of Sid Vicious and famously blowing off the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony with Johnny Rotten, Lonely Boy offers a portrait of a punk pioneer-a demigod to a generation of frustrated youth who identified with the band's political and social condemnations of life for the working class.
Traumatic childhood abuse and neglect, meaningless sexual exploits, life-threatening drug addiction, and bottoming out on heroin-all are covered candidly in Lonely Boy. It brings us face-to-face with a Steve Jones neither seen on stage nor heard over the airwaves, a man who spent his youth at the epicenter of angst in class-ruled Britain, taunting and ridiculing the establishment, who later, through sobriety, finally learned to be comfortable in his own skin.
Steve Jones was born in West London in 1955. He founded QT Jones and the Sex Pistols with Paul Cook. The band eventually went on to become The Sex Pistols, and Jones was their guitarist until the band broke up in 1978. The Sex Pistols reformed in 1996 for a massive world tour-which produced an acclaimed live album, Filthy Lucre Live-and again in 2007-2008. A musician, record producer, DJ, and actor, he lives in Los Angeles, where he hosts Jonesy's Jukebox on 95.5 KLOS FM and every Monday through Friday between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. Ben Thompson is a London-based rock journalist and author. He has written books with Ray Winstone, Russell Brand, and Terry Gilliam.
BOOK EXCERPT: "When it comes to what defines me as a person, a lot of the best things in my life have come about because of the worst things, which is a weird one when you try and think about divine intervention and all that bollocks. It would be a pretty twisted kind of God who would say 'Let's abuse that child so he can go off the rails and form a band.' But looking back, I do feel like someone or something-God, destiny, whatever you want to call it-definitely threw me a lifeline in giving me music to hang onto." - from Chapter 4