By this point, everyone knows Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious barely played on his band’s epochal 1977 debut Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Vicious was sidelined at the time of recording with jaundice, which turned out to be a weird stroke of luck for the Pistols considering the fact Sid had yet to rise above novice level on his instrument (and, spoiler alert, never would). Guitarist Steve Jones, pictured, laid down the lion’s share of bass on Bollocks, although Jones and his band mates allegedly left in some of Sid’s amateur plunking at an extraordinarily low volume just so their most self-destructive member could be technically correct when he told people he had played on the album.
Flash forward two decades. Insane Clown Posse score a major coup in terms of credibility by getting Steve Jones to play guitar on their Great Milenko rap rock hybrid track “Piggy Pie.” For years, this unexpected union elevates both ICP and Jonesy—who was already a hero of mine for being the most normal-looking guy in the poster band for punk rock—in these watery, bloodshot eyes. The Wicked Clowns respected the Sex Pistols, and a Sex Pistol respected the Wicked Clowns (or at least thought playing on an ICP record was good enough for “a larf” and “some f’ckin’ dough, y’knowhutuhmean?”).
Well, come to find out via this A.V. Club interview with Violent J that not only were ICP completely ignorant of Steve Jones’s musical history when they landed him for Milenko, they didn’t even bother showing up when the guitarist came in to record his part for “Piggy Pie” and ended up muting most of what he played anyway. Disrespecting Steve Jones—how does THAT work? Quoteth J the Violent:
…I didn’t want to be there in the studio because I didn’t know who Steve Jones was, and I didn’t want to say something stupid, or I was too shy and didn’t want to meet him. So I was off doing something else, and that’s when Shaggy [2 Dope] was in jail, and he missed the whole thing…I let our producer Mike Clark stay and our A&R [person] Julian stay. So when they were done, I came back into the studio and I heard what Steve Jones played, and I didn’t like it. It was too wild-style. So what we did was, we used our old tracks, and we used one little track of Steve Jones in there, at really low…So he was in there, but the majority was Mike Clark playing it. We used it for the name value. We were like, ‘Featuring Steve Jones on guitar,’ because technically it was Steve Jones playing on there.”
Irony, you have a phone call at the Dark Carnival concierge desk. Please pick up.
I would love to hear Jonesy’s side of this story. Does he know he got the Sid Vicious treatment on The Great Milenko? Does he care? Why isn’t Steve Jones on TV all the time so he can answer these questions? Watch this clip of Steve rambling on while playing Sex Pistols riffs and tell me you couldn’t watch him for five hours a day every day on the idiot box. Go ahead and tell me that, but we both know you’d be telling bigger lies than Ollie North.
Oh, and to all the Juggalos out there reading this—before you blindly attack me, please keep in mind that I am on record as an ICP supporter and still consider The Great Milenko one of the motherfuckin’ freshest albums ever made, regardless of Steve Jones’s volume. I swear on Jamie Farr’s nose I’m down with the clowns. Please do not drown me in Cherry Faygo the next time you see me at the post office.