Glen Matlock is full of surprises. Having helped define punk as the original bassist – and chief songwriter – of the Sex Pistols, he went on to a scattershot career in which he worked alongside everyone from Iggy Pop to Creation Records and is now gearing up for the release of Brexit-inspired single Keep On Pushing (spoiler alert: he's not a fan). He popped up on an episode of Pointless Celebrities alongside Slim Jim Phantom, developed a name for himself as a club DJ in Brazil and in 2018 became one of the first UK musicians to perform in South Korea's Demilitarized Zone.
But perhaps most surprising of all is that this punk pioneer is an unapologetic, swooning romantic. So, with Valentine's Day looming, we enlisted Matlock to put together the ultimate punk rock mixtape for lovers. With a 'hey' and a 'ho', let's go...
1. Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World
"A great track and who wouldn’t travel that far for a special rendezvous? The plaintive quality in Eric’s voice makes you believe it and reckon there is a good chance you would bump in to each other in the departure lounge whilst you are on a similar quest."
2. Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)
"Superlative slice of knowing pop-punk that fingers the doubts we all have in affairs of the heart – not that it ever stops us.
Love is a tenacious mistress that who is not averse to using all the tricks of the trade – blindfolds included."
3. The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
"Ah, the excitement, romance and naivety of those first flushes of teenage lust are hard to forget of a Saturday night – as long as it was after football. But as soon as that short drum fill intro and first few bars kick in, you know you are in for a joyful three-and-a-half-minutes of unbridled possibility."
4. Ramones - I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
"This always reminds me of the writing underneath the drawing of the dead lion on the Lyle's Golden Syrup tin: 'Out of the strong came forth sweetness'.
Joey croons and the band swoop behind his heartfelt invitation/plea to accompany him through the mean streets of life. Perfect."
5. The Damned - New Rose
"With the lady in question, no wonder he’d 'Got it good’!
Brian James' sonic celebration of the excitement of new found attachment on punk’s first UK release might tell the same old story, but it's a very important one indeed."
6. Dr. Feelgood - She Does It Right
"Yep – not half!
Maybe pre-punk, but this is an essential band performing an essential song in the only way they know how – as though they mean it. Because, natch, they do."
7. Glen Matlock - Sexy Beast
"To believe in somebody else, you first have to have a belief in yourself.
From that, all possibilities stem. Then, 'like a guided missile', you too can then be homing in on what comes naturally."
8. Richard Hell And The Voidoids - Love Comes In Spurts
"It sure does and, yes, more often than not, it hurts!
The whacked out vocal delivery from Richard Hell and Robert Quine’s majestic, angular dissonant guitar playing underline the what can be the transitory nature of love’s sadly sometimes elusive quest. Nothing, though, that should ever stop one."
9. The Heartbreakers - I Wanna Be Loved
"Who doesn’t? Johnny Thunders was a gentle soul and no different from all of us in that respect.
Funny how somebody whose image portrayed such an offhand, couldn’t-care-less-ness actually did, but then I guess that applies to a lot of us."
10. Iggy Pop - China Girl
"And when we get overly excited, we all need somebody special to say 'Cool it, have a word with yourself, mister'. A sublime slice of pop rock music that hits the nail on the head in a chanson of both consequence and immaculate style."
Glen Matlock's new single, Keep On Pushing, will be released on February 22.