With the search going nowhere, Mc Laren made several calls to Richard Hell, who turned down the invitation. John had something special, but when he started talking he was a real arsehole—but smart." When the pub closed, the group moved on to SEX, where Lydon, who had given little thought to singing, was convinced to improvise along to Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" on the shop jukebox.In August 1975, Rhodes spotted nineteen-year-old Kings Road habitué John Lydon wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words I Hate handwritten above the band's name and holes scratched through the eyes. Though the performance drove the band members to laughter, Mc Laren convinced them to start rehearsing with Lydon.The first incarnation of the Sex Pistols was singer Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), lead guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock.
Effectively becoming the group's manager, Mc Laren paid for their first formal rehearsal space.
Glen Matlock, an art student who occasionally worked at Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, was recruited as the band's regular bassist.
Their 1977 single "God Save the Queen", attacking social conformity and deference to the Crown, precipitated what one commentator described as the "last and greatest outbreak of pop-based moral pandemonium".
Subjects addressed in their frequently obscene lyrics included the music industry, consumerism, abortion, violence, apathy, anarchy, fascism, the British Royal Family and the Holocaust.
As described by Matlock, "Everyone had long hair then, even the milkman, so what we used to do was if someone had short hair we would stop them in the street and ask them if they fancied themselves as a singer." Among those they approached was Midge Ure, who was involved with his own band, Slik.