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Oh Bollocks: The Notorious Sex Pistols Credit Cards.

Oh Bollocks: The Notorious Sex Pistols Credit Cards.

Above Photo: The Virgin “Punk” Credit Cards.

Many people were rightly upset a while back to see the Sex Pistols’ artwork for their Never Mind the Bollocks album and other records used on credit cards. Although it was nice to see Punk still making headlines, I could understand why many were outraged by this, seeing it as a sellout – especially when they’d created the artwork.

That creator was Jamie Reid, who devised the artwork for the Never Mind The Bollocks album, as well as for the Sex Pistols’ singles Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen.

The Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK artwork created by Jamie Reid.

The Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK artwork created by Jamie Reid.

Unfortunately, Virgin have the rights to artwork because it was Richard Branson’s Virgin record label that the Sex Pistols were signed to when they released their only studio album before their split.

This is why they are able to use it on their credit cards, even decades later, to ‘cash in’ on people who feel they are somehow encapsulating the spirit of Punk by paying for things with a Sex Pistols’ credit card.

Journalist Johnny Sharp wrote a magazine article about this and then published a photo of handwritten letter the art creator, Jamie Reid, sent to him detailing his ‘disgust’ at the use of his punk artwork for the credit cards.

Jamie Reid's letter to the journalist, expressing his feelings about the Sex Pistols credit cards.

Jamie Reid’s letter to the journalist, expressing his feelings about the Sex Pistols credit cards.

The letter reads:

Dear Johnny,

In response to your G2 piece FILTY LUCRE, I can only express my complete disgust at the use of my art work for the VIRGIN credit cards. It seems typical of the times we live in. Especially with the Tory (bankers) victory in the last election. It seems so removed from the original 1977 spirit of the Pistols but to be sure these times of questioning and change and alternatives will come again.

As the original artists I have to rights over its usage. Virgin have the rights to use it as they like.

If it was up to me I would never agree to such usage.

Yours Jamie Reid.

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