Sex Pistols at the Longhorn Ballroom

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about what happened when some imported Pistols went off in a Texas dance hall.

On January 10, 1978, the British punk band, the Sex Pistols, played the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas. The pioneering punk rockers were an obvious mismatch for a venue which had hosted Bob Wills and many other country artists. As it turns out, however, the Sex Pistols’ manager was looking to cause trouble. So, he booked the Sex Pistols into honky tonks throughout the South, hoping to create controversy among traditionally conservative audiences. As the Sex Pistols took the stage, the Longhorn Ballroom’s country music fans mingled uneasily with the local punk crowd. Tensions escalated, and an audience member actually attacked the Sex Pistols’ bass player, Sid Vicious, during the performance.

The concert at the Longhorn Ballroom would be part of the original Sex Pistols’ only U.S. tour. The following week, singer Johnny Rotten announced the group’s breakup onstage in San Francisco. However, the spectacle at the Longhorn Ballroom lives on in Texas music lore.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a piano playing cowboy who was not really a cowboy at all.

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