Lot 93 - Sex Pistols/Jamie Reid
Two original proofs for the Sex Pistols’ Young Flesh Required PR campaign – one unseen, one banned due to threats of legal action
Young Flesh Required was a PR campaign to promote the Sex Pistols 1979 single The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle whose cover would also feature the same design. The idea came from artist Jamie Reid (1947- ) who designed the iconic covers for the Anarchy in the UK and God Save the Queen singles.
Reid based his design on an American Express credit card, changing “American Express” to “Sex Pistols”, and the account holder’s name to “Virgin Records”. The campaign showed the card on a black background. An arrow pointing to “Sex Pistols” was accompanied by text reading “The Artist (The Prostitute). Your name could be here. Your talents will become a source of unlimited cash for the Record Company (The Pimp).” An arrow pointing to “Virgin Records” read “The Record Company (The Pimp). The people who own this, own you. They will spend the cash you generate on schemes to increase their own power. You will get a small percentage of what you earn.” A final arrow pointing to the white and green background of the card read “The Business (The Swindle). Played by everyone including the Record Company, the Manager, the Promoter, the Press, the Disc Jockey and if you’re smart, You.”
Within 36 hours of the campaign being released, American Express lawyers phoned up Virgin Records. The call was recorded and the single reissued with some pressings (those with a yellow label) featuring the recording.
American Express claimed infringement of copyright, causing all of the promotional material (including single covers) to be withdrawn. Virgin sent out a press release in October 1979 stating that the debacle had so far cost Virgin £30,000”. When asked to comment, Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Records) stated “I shall not be using my American Express card much this week.”
In fine condition.
End Date: 2012-05-24 19:30:00