Sex Pistols: Mark Jay's artwork for the cartoon 'So Far', 1978,

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Lot 217
Sex Pistols: Mark Jay's artwork for the cartoon 'So Far',
1978,

Sold for £ 4,687 (US$ 5,937) inc. premium
THE MARK JAY COLLECTION OF PUNK MEMORABILIA
THE MARK JAY COLLECTION OF PUNK MEMORABILIA

Lot 172-232

The collection represents a very personal record of an extraordinary and incendiary eighteen months from mid-1976 to early 1978 when Punk Rock exploded across the UK music scene. Mark's involvement in the movement came very early – before the notorious Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols, before any of the groups had record contracts and before the movement even had a proper name.

Growing up in Hammersmith, west London in the mid-1960s, Mark had watched immaculately-attired Mods parading along the streets, wishing he was old enough to be part of whatever they were getting up to. Eventually, it was David Bowie who provided Mark with a portal into a youth culture that he could finally call his own. Totally smitten since the incarnation of Ziggy Stardust, Mark had followed Bowie's every move, and at Wembley in May 1976, Mark witnessed the first flowerings of embryonic 'spike-tops' who were soon to become some of the major players on the Punk scene. Although this gig was perhaps one of the finest moments in Bowie's career, Mark was as equally mesmerised by a certain core of the audience, as by the Thin White Duke himself.

Armed with the brashness of a fourteen year-old, Mark got talking to some of the exotically-dressed creatures sporting rubber, zips, ripped T-shirts with graphic imagery and safety pins. He became aware of a band called the Sex Pistols who were currently playing around London and felt he just had to go and see them.

It was at a Pistols' gig a little later that year, where he picked up his first copy of the fanzine 'Sniffin Glue', which urged other would-be fanzine editors to go out and do likewise. Spurred on by this rallying call and the daily increasing buzz of the scene, Mark co-opted a couple of like-minded schoolmates and did just that. The result was 'Skum', amongst the very first wave of fanzines in the UK. It lasted for seven issues and included interviews with many seminal Punk figures, including a pre-Pistols Sid Vicious (his first ever interview), a pre-Pogues Shane McGowan, reviews of The Clash by a pre-Spandau Ballet Gary Kemp and lots of content either directly related to, or commissioned by, the Sex Pistols' camp.

Mark's cartoons and artwork for the fanzine were noticed by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and they commissioned him to design a poster, entitled 'The Story So Far', to promote and accompany the Pistols' debut LP.

In June 1977 Mark was one of the few fans lucky enough to attend the Sex Pistols' legendary 'Boat Party' concert on Jubilee Day, an invitation that was part-payment for the production of the poster, along with the printed material, flyers and some of the T-shirts that are now offered in this auction. The bulk of the collection was therefore obtained through Mark's close association with the groups at the time, their offices and their entourage. It was totally normal for the likes of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones or Johnny Rotten to take the time to stop and talk to their fans and ask about their lives and feelings. This is what made the movement so special and made people feel so involved.

Being a fanzine editor in 1977 meant that you could be part of the dialogue that Punk was creating and be involved in it on a day-by-day basis. There was a unique egalitarianism which allowed teenagers 'from nowhere' like Mark to express themselves through music, print, design and fashion and, most importantly, be seen and heard by a wide and ever-expanding audience.

Mark admits that he spent an inordinate amount of time hanging around McLaren and Westwood's shop in London's Kings Road, where he also had a Saturday job in a Beaufort Market record stall, and was totally immersed in Punk. As with some other items in the collection, the fanzine collection offered here was amassed through a barter system, whereby people exchanged copies of their work along with information and ideas.

Looking at the collection as a whole some forty years later, it seems incredible that so much work, bursting with so much passion, ideas and expression, was produced in such a relatively short space of time.
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Sex Pistols: Mark Jay's artwork for the cartoon 'So Far',
1978,
unused, black ink, felt-tip pen and crayon, headed So The Sex Pistols Have Split Up Eh? Well Here's The Long-Awaited Final Episode Of The Story OK..., signed and inscribed 1978...By MJS & Skum Magazine, two sheets of paper with centre tape join, 9 15/16in x 15 14/16in (25.4cm x 40.5cm)

Footnotes

  • Please note this lot is sold without Copyright.
    This was commissioned by Malcolm McLaren but was unused due to his increasingly fractious relationship with some of the band members after the split.

    Provenance:
    The Mark Jay Collection. Lots 172-232.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this lot is sold without Copyright.
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