Jonesy's Jukebox - Transcription Page

Jonesy's Jukebox 23rd March 2006 Guest: Julien Temple

Julien Temple Director of the Great Rock and Roll Swindle and the Filth and the Fury visits the 'box 23.3.06.

This interview was first broadcast on Indie 103.1 LA and OC area and streamed on the Internet.

Steve: You're listening to Jonesy's Jukebox on Indie 1031 on a gorgeous...I can't believe how hot it is. It was eighty degrees as I was pulling in the garage...almost eighty, and it will be in a little bit. Just couldn't be happier. Couldn't be happi-er. But besides all that we have Julien Temple in the studio. How are you, Julien?

Julien: I'm good. (referring to the Jonesy's Jukebox opening theme, the orchestral version of "God Save The Queen" from The Great Rock and Roll Swindle) I'm surprised how's it amazing how well that song blew up to orchestral...

Steve: I'm sure you've heard that song a million times, right?

Julien: I hear it in my...nightmares, yes.

Steve: Do you? (both laugh) If none of you don't know it, Julien was, uh, the director of The Rock and Roll Swindle.

Julien: Steve was my leading man.

Steve: Yes, I'm the...I was the leading man, "star man." Did you have fun doing that? Or was it, was it...

Julien: Uh, not really. It was a nightmare. By that stage, everything was a bit of a nightmare. But, you know, it was a survival course. You had to stay the course or give up for the rest of your life, basically.

Steve: Yeah. What did uh, did, it was a nightmare as far as dealing with Malcolm Mclaren, or just, was a shambles, wunnit? I mean wasn't run like a normal movie.

Julien: We didn't have money one day to the next, you know. You'd wait for six weeks to then find out you'd got a little bit of money, which is probably your money in the first place, but I don't know where it came from. Um, it was, you know, it was blood on the walls already at that stage, though. I mean, the whole thing with John and Malcolm was, was pretty bitter, wasn't it?

Steve: Right.

Julien: ...and, you know, I was making it with Malcolm but I wanted to be trying to keep some kind of truth to, to the input of Rotten and the band, particularly. Ah, and in a way, you know, looking at the two films together, I think it works quite well because you've, you've got two sides to the story there because "The Filth And The Fury" obviously made with a bit more hindsight, a bit more space between things. You could tell the story in a different way, a more human way.

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: At the time, the, the Swindle was a kind of provocation. It was meant to enrage, annoy everybody. It was a very "punk" film in that sense and making cartoons of you at that time was a sacrilege, wasn't it? I mean have to be a cartoon to be in a band. Back then, rock and roll stars, or rock and roll characters portrayed as a cartoon was not what you were meant to do, so hopefully it was irreverent and in the spirit of the know, for whatever it is, it's a document of that whole thing...

Steve: I think, I, I love watching it. It makes no sense, but I love it. It's just the things that are going on in it, you know, one minute you're, you know, the Brazil bit and you know, it's just, its...its great having Ronnie Biggs in the movie. For me, that's just like one of them mad "Carry On" movies, to me.

Julien: Yeah, yeah, it is.

Steve: A "Carry On" movie on acid, or something, you know? It's just out there.

Julien: I think it's good 'cause it did leave a good monument to Sid, what Sid was, 'cause in the band he didn't really, didn't really work in as a Sex Pistol on stage, I thought. But when, when he did My Way, he did get a real, real sense of who he was.

Steve: Yeah, Chrissie was saying that yesterday, that he was, if he would have had his, his stuff together, he could have went on to be...

Julien: Huge, I think.

Steve: Yeah. He had it. He had, he had the charisma and he had a voice, too.

Julien: But he lost it though, didn't he?

Steve: The voice?

Julien: He lost it...he had it and then he lost it.

Steve: Well, only through substances. I don't think it was a...

Julien: That's what I mean...

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: Before that all started happening, he was you know...electric guy in a room. There was something really charismatic about Sid.

Steve: I think it was pretty sad when he ended up in CBGB's. Did you ever hear any of them tapes when he performed there?

Julien: Seen some stills of that. I haven't heard the music.

Steve: Yeah, it was pretty sad. What a mess he was there. What was it like working with him, 'cause you did a lot of stuff by yourself with him, didn't you, when he's doing the bit on the back of the bike...(C'mon Everybody) you weren't really driving the bike, right, it was being...

Julien: It was on a flat trailer...

Steve: could tell...from a mile away! (laughs) I don't think he'd ever been on a motorcycle in his life.

Julien: Well, in a way, if you had a bag of sweets, you were all right with Sid, you know, ' forget how young he was also, you know...and ah, the problem was not what he did when you were filming him, it was getting him out of bed and getting him towards the camera, you know, just getting things set up and ah, I always found a bag of Humbugs or something...

Steve: Smarties. (both laugh) "'ere ya are, Sid, here's your Smarties!" Ah, boy. Yeah, I was...I wasn't in too great a shape when I was doing it. I might have acted like I was together, but I was uh, that's when I started doing that nasty drug.

Julien: I didn't realize you'd began that early. I know…

Steve: I remember one day, we were filming. It was, I think it was up the West End somewhere. It was the shot - I'll tell exactly…you know the shot where I'm looking through the glass at the bird on the piano?

Julien: Yeah, yeah.

Steve: We did it in some shop up West End, right.

Julien: Right. We faked it, yeah.

Steve: I remember coming there and I'd been doing dope for about a year, like, just snorting it and didn't realize that I had a habit because I never stopped…until that day. I went to do work.

Julien: Tono Debrett, wasn't it?

Steve: Yeah and uh, I started feeling like rubbish and I remember I had to, I just had to just fly home, 'cause I was feeling horrible and I remember getting in me house and doing it and thinking, "Oh, no…"

Julien: It's 'got' you.

Steve: Yeah, "I've got a problem here." And that was the day I remember doing the other side of the glass, I was pulling the faces, you know?

Julien: Yeah, yeah.

Steve: And that was up the West End and then the rest…who's that bird's house?

Julien: Oh, um, Lindsay…

Steve: Lindsay DePaul.

Julien: DePaul, yeah.

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: That was a great line, something about Lindsay DePaul and overlooking Karl Marx's grave and the bedroom of Lindsay DePaul. You did it…

Steve: Oh, that was…yeah.

Julien: Well yeah, the saddest moment I ever saw you is standing, must have been soon after that, must've been on the corner of Old Compton Street, with all these you know, freebie Virgin Records…

Steve: Trying to flog 'em?

Julien: Trying to flog 'em, swaying around…

Steve: Awww…sad.

Julien: That was bad.

Steve: But look at me now.

Julien: Who would've known.

Steve: Look at me now…wow, yeah it was a mad time. It was very uh, very weird back then. What was that, '79 was it, or '80?

Julien: '78, '79. It came out in '80. Strangest thing about that film, in a way was nobody…you know a censor looks at a film and tells you to take things out. I think this was the only time a censor, you know, sits down and writes something that you have to put in.

Steve: Right.

Julien: At the end, we had to do that whole thing to make it like, a moral tale, "Don't do this" because Sid ended up like this and we had all these…it's weird being told what you gotta do by the censors.

Steve: Yeah. Would you have, would you have done it differently if Mclaren wasn't involved? Would you have done anything different, you know, different scenes or whatever…different take on it? 'cause he, was he, he was putting his two cents in right, Mclaren?

Julien: Oh yeah, he had, well…we spent about six months you know, working out the…madness of the thing and uh, he was obviously a big part of it. But he wasn't around that much when we shot it so, you know, it was, you know, left up to my own devices there and I'd brought things in like the cartoon stuff that my mates did at film school and so on. So we were doing things and then when, when things split up with Malcolm, he tried to fire me. We brought in a thing where we had a perspective on Malcolm as well. You know, "Where did the money come from?" "Did The Swindle include Malcolm?" which it obviously did in the end, you know.

Steve: He wanted that though, right?

Julien: I think so…to an extent, but…

Steve: 'cause it comes across like, it's like, this is Malcolm's idea, to make him shine. But is that not true?

Julien: Well, it was…I mean, the idea was to make him look preposterous, 'cause you know, he liked to shine in a negative way, didn't he?

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: You know…I think we were doing a lot of things that were, where we took things that actually happened and tried to make it seem untrue and then we took stuff that was completely made up and tried to make it seem true. I mean, to the extent that…do you remember that there was a press conference in Rio, where we had the Bormann character lined up with you?

Steve: I don't remember.

Julien: It was Ronnie Biggs, you Steve…Paul…

Steve: Did you film it?

Julien: Yeah, we filmed it, but the Brazilians thought he was Bormann, joining the band.

Steve: Martin Bormann.

Julien: They actually bought into that. It was amazing.

Steve: You mean, he wasn't? I thought he was, too. (both laugh)

Julien: But it was that whole thing…

Steve: He was a "B" actor, I found out later, that guy.

Julien: Yeah, he was a Hollywood nazi, basically, you know, a character nazi.

Steve: Is that what he played? He always played nazis?

Julien: Yeah, he always played nazis. He was suitably over-the-top. But uh, you know, in a, in a way, I did the film later that I wanted to make about the Sex Pistols, The Filth And The Fury to me showed where you guys come, came from and how you know, what your lives growing up, fed into the music that you made, that it wasn't just some mad puppet meister, molding you out, Claymation-style.

Steve: Which always still sticks a little bit that for some people. They seem to think that that's what it was.

Julien: Well, I think The Swindle was a bit responsible for that because it was, it was this idea of...'cause it was that whole thing of...destroying Rod Stewart and all those people and there was a sense that, after eighteen months, kids were kneeling in their bedrooms praying to these new gods, The Sex Pistols and the film was meant to kind of shake them around a bit and say, "Don't do what you did before" kind of thing...

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: there was that aspect to it.

Steve: But we wasn't puppets, was we, Julien?

Julien: Well I, you know, I think, you know, Malcolm in a room with you, he was terrified of all of you. Perhaps not Paul, but everyone else...

Steve: Yeah.

Julien: You know, I mean, Rotten could pin him to the wall with his stare...and you know, Sid beat the shit out of him in Paris, if you remember you know. It was just that uncontrollable energy about you guys together that he couldn't really handle, you know. And it's surprising that things like the Grundy Show that, you know, really shook everything up and put you on the map, he was terrified of that.

Steve: That's what I love, the way he was...I remember him after we'd done that. He was like, "what have you done? You've done it now!" until he saw the press the next day, he said, "I created this Bill Grundy Show," so then he kind of wanted credit for that then, you know?

Julien: Well, he was a spin doctor, a brilliant spin doctor ahead of, ahead of the whole thing that's played out.

Steve: Yeah. Yeah. All right. Enough of that. That was good stuff.

The rest of the interview was about other matters but then Steve went back to the subject again.

Steve: Okay, I want to ask you two more questions about The Swindle and then we'll leave it alone. In the scene where I'm doing "Lonely Boy" with that Asian girl, wasn't that your girlfriend at the time?

Julien: It was my girlfriend at the time.

Steve: Right. Was that weird for you, to watch her in the bed with me?

Julien: I enjoyed that, I enjoyed that . Um, the thing about her, she used to do this thing of scratching you. By the end of that film, my hands were like complete raw, mashed up.

Steve: Your hands were?

Julien: Yeah, and we, we did some of the, kind of sound effects by being scratched and shouting…screams. So she was like, scratching me up in the, in the booth. She was a wildcat, that girl.

Steve: She didn't speak English much, did she? I can't remember.

Julien: No, she was straight off the boat from Japan really.

Steve: Is that where you got her? You said, (US. accent) "Hey, baby, I'm gonna make you a star!"

Julien: I saw her wandering around The Rainbow or something…

Steve: The Rainbow in London.

Julien: …in full drag. Because they really punked out, those Japanese kids, at the time.

Steve: Wow…and you went out with her for awhile?

Julien: The Cambridge Rapist Hotel, she was staying at…

Steve: (Laughing) Oh, that's funny. And, okay, and Mary Millington. What did you make of that whole scene? She was a, she was an English kind of, was she a…did she make porn movies?

Julien: She was a porn movie star, who had a very sad…she killed herself not long after, a couple of years after that.

Steve: It's 'cause of me. She couldn't have me.

Julien: But it was that kind of crossover from "Carry On" into softcore porn that she was inhabiting. It was just great to get those different types of characters that you never expect in the same movie. Irene Handl…

Steve: Who was a classic "Carry On" who was also from the "Carry On ?"- we had that Liz Fraser.

Julien: Oh Liz Fraser yeah, Jess Conrad the kind of loser rock star guy from the fifties.

Steve: Jess Conrad. Did he ever have a hit that guy, he must have had something?

Julien: He did in the fifties didn't he?

End of extracts. ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Transcribed by Floratina.

Edited and proof read by Chriswasanon

Joint Floratina Chriswasanon exclusive production for Kick Down The Doors. 31.3.06

Thanks to Mark Shovel, Indie 103.1, Floratina, Phil and a special Sex Pistol thank you to Steve Jones.

Steve Jones radio show Jonesy's Jukebox is broadcast Monday to Friday on Indie 103.1 at 12 noon to Pacific Standard Time and from to in the UK. There is a rebroadcast of the first or the second hour 4 hours after it finishes. LATEST NEWS Jonesy talked about having a highlights of the week show on a Saturday in a 2 hour slot at 12 noon Pacific Standard Time. This has yet to be confirmed.

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