Here’s a most un-punk origin story…
The very first industry unveiling of the never to be repeated super-group Velvet Revolver was at a showcase gig after the premier of 2003’s mega multi million dollar movie The Hulk. The film was a flop. It was supposed to kick start the Marvel cinematic universe, but it was a confusing mess and fell flat on it’s purple panted arse.
The band were basically the musicians of Guns N’ Roses fronted by Scott Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots. This was exciting news to Slash, Duff and Sorum fans as we’d missed that mighty music machine chugging out massive rock riffs and slinky grooves.
Axl was at peak idiothole during this time. He was dragging around a bunch of session musicians to wait hours past showtime in cavernous venues while he tinkered with the most expensive (and disappointing) record of all time™. So the idea of getting to see most of GNR playing new material and some classics was grasped at.
If you bought the original European release Contraband from this new band Velvet Revolver (something soft and pretty Velvet/Roses, N’ something violent Revolver/Guns) there was a live bonus track recorded at that showcase gig (the Contraband track and first taster for the industry Set Me Free was on The Hulk soundtrack album) in the form of The Sex Pistols Bodies.
I always considered Bodies to be The Pistols most agitated and spikiest track. It has a truly controversial subject matter and a blunt aggressive tone to it’s lyrics which deal directly in the stomach churning reality of back street abortion. It also has that most punk couplet with all the F-bombs near the end that is the rite of passage anyone who ever listened to Never Mind The Bollocks never forgets.
When Velvet Revolver trotted it out for the movie industries A-Listers in a glittering ball room at the premier for a franchise launching kids movie they may have misjudged the mood slightly. I like to think this metallic powerhouse take on the punk classic was deliberately at odds with the schmoozing and the glitz. Very un-punk and yet about as punk as a room full of multi millionaires promoting a blockbuster could get.