Paul Gorman is…

When Jesus danced with the Sex Pistols

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//From Vacant by Nils Stevenson, photo: Ray Stevenson//

If you are of a London gig-goer of a certain (getting on to be advanced) age you will remember “Jesus”, an enthusiastic audience member at many musical events in the capital from the 60s to the late 70s.

jesus1

//Detail: Hynde, Rotten, Matlock and Jesus. Photo: Ray Stevenson//

Jesus was notable because a) he was personable and b) would often discard his clothes as he energetically idiot-danced stage-front. Jesus liked to frolic with abandon, more often than not exposing much, or even all of his rail-thin body.

Some remember him from The Marquee and UFO in the 60s. According to DJ Jeff Dexter, Jesus’s real name is Clive Jellett. He won his nickname at one of the Hyde Park free concerts of that period; it could have been the Stones In The Park.  In Tony Palmer’s film, there’s Jesus freaking out in the crowd footage as Mick Jagger flounces in his Mr Fish man-dress. And apparently he and Magic Michael performed naked on the pyramid stage at the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre.

Jesus sported a distinctive bowl cut with a mullet-style back bit, easily spottable as he threw shapes at the Camden Roundhouse on Sundays (£1.50, five bands, 3pm-11pm, brownies, quiche and mint tea).

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//Jesus at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London, 1973. Photo: Vin Miles//

In my personal experience, Jesus frugged along to Ian Dury & The Kilburns at The Hope & Anchor (“This one’s called Pam’s Moods. It’s for all the girls who hang around the toilets…”), jived with the elderly rioting Teds at Chuck Berry at The Rainbow and, no doubt because of his dedication towards gig-going, appeared among the tiny crowds at some of the earliest punk gigs.

It was rumoured that Jesus curtailed his incessant concert attendance after being bashed up by new wave no-marks, but not before I encountered him at the Ramones/Flamin’ Groovies and Patti Smith/Stranglers shows at the Roundhouse in 1976.

In terms of sheer cred Jesus beats all-comers by gracing one of the Sex Pistols gigs at the Nashville in the April of that year in a t-shirt onto which he had scrawled a punk-style slogan.  Zelig-like, there’s a photo of him dancing enthusiastically with Johnny Rotten and Chrissie Hynde in the late Nils Stevenson’s book Vacant.

Such was Jesus’ ubiquity that the NME carried a full-page interview with him in 1975. He announced he was sick of overblown stadium rock and that his favourite record was Bachman Turner Overdrive’s You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

And great to hear he’s still going: Jesus is featured on Brian Nevill’s excellent Facebook Ladbroke Grove group page, where a post has a pic of him looking fab in a purple one piece at a recent Gong gig.

Visit the Ladbroke Grove FB page here.

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Author: / Published: Jan 29th, 2014 / Category: 1970s, Dancing, Festivals, London, Punk, Pyschedelia, Underground press / Comments: 20

20 Responses to “When Jesus danced with the Sex Pistols”


  1. R Henderson
    on Jan 29th, 2014
    @ 5:48 pm

    Jesus also features in Jim Jarmusch’s documentary ‘Year Of The Horse’ concerning Neil Young & Crazy Horse, as seen in B&W footage pulled from an earlier, unreleased tour film (‘Muddy Track’) made by Young himself in the mid-’70s. Jesus has an earnest discussion with a deerstalker-wearing Young, the former describing his many incarnations throughout human history to the amused rock star.


  2. Paul Gorman
    on Jan 29th, 2014
    @ 6:24 pm

    Thank you very much for that info. So is that from when the Tonight’s The Night tour hit town? Love to see that.


  3. simon charterton
    on Jan 30th, 2014
    @ 12:53 pm

    Remember Magic Michael making numerous substitute appearances at early seventies college gigs in London, seemingly whenever a booked support act was unable to take the stage. His unique oeuvre is well captured on one of the Greasy Truckers albums. I wonder what happened to him and if the magic ever wore off.


  4. Paul Gorman
    on Jan 30th, 2014
    @ 1:45 pm

    Simon – good to hear from you – we were in the same audiences.


  5. Martin Cole
    on Jan 31st, 2014
    @ 9:08 pm

    Magic Michael sometimes did an interval set at the Electric Cinema,
    accompanied by Jesus and his bloody tambourine.


  6. TF
    on Feb 1st, 2014
    @ 11:41 am

    I’m not of the appropriate vintage to have witnessed Jesus first hand but remember reading intriguing mentions of him in various books including Nils and Ray Stevenson’s aforementioned Vacant book as well as that photo also appearing in Ray Steveson’s original Pistols book from the late 70s. I think he (Jesus) possibly gets a mention in Mick Farren’s biography too and definitely gets one in Andy Blade from Eater’s biography (crap band, great book). He certainly seems to have made an impression and it’s good to hear that he’s still going strong. There are a few more pictures of him in his hey day here:

    http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/Reading-74-jesus.html


  7. Vin Miles
    on Apr 23rd, 2014
    @ 7:00 pm

    Just like to point out for the sake of historical accuracy that my pic of Jesus that you’ve used here was taken at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, not at a concert. He regularly preached his homespun philosophy there. And the photo is from ’73, not ’74.


  8. Paul Gorman
    on Apr 23rd, 2014
    @ 9:25 pm

    Thanks Vin

    Have corrected.


  9. JD
    on Apr 24th, 2014
    @ 11:57 am

    It’s ‘Clive’ Jellett PG.


  10. Ross Davies
    on May 16th, 2014
    @ 7:33 pm

    Well remember Jesus, Certain I saw him at the Watchfield Festival where I worked info/security for the main stage. But then, I was pretty busy and mortally stoned most of the time…….


  11. Dolores
    on Dec 23rd, 2014
    @ 4:05 pm

    Hi. I too was at Watchfield festival. I was just a kid, 14 , and I met Jesus several times at festivals and gigs.
    I remember at Watchfield he took his clothes off when Hawkwind were playing
    There is a photo of us on a UK rock festivals site.
    I will attempt to post it if I can (not v techy)
    Dolores
    http://www.soundcloud.com/dolores-3


  12. Paul Gorman
    on Mar 8th, 2016
    @ 8:37 am

    Please post Dolores if you can


  13. Terry S
    on Jan 26th, 2015
    @ 1:47 pm

    OH my God, “JEEESSSUSS” !…”Idiot Dancing” sums it up perfectly, & why not, good luck to him,
    I seem to remember him working/hanging out ? on the “Better Badges” at the Roundhouse late 1977, & don’t quote me on this, but I seem to remember some poor hippy type getting a good hiding by some Sham dim wits when they were supporting the Banshees 1st headline gig at Roundhouse…
    I seem to remember a lot !


  14. Paul Gorman
    on Mar 8th, 2016
    @ 8:38 am

    He knew Joly from BB pretty well so that makes sense Terry


  15. Ian Macintosh
    on Mar 8th, 2016
    @ 2:43 am

    I had a nodding/’hi man’ relationship with Jesus during the sixties and into the 70’s when I was a ligger with the Gong crew in Oxfordshire and London. Around the time Jesus climbed onstage at the ‘SwingalongaMax’ show and literally, ‘swung’ along with Max, I was wandering across Speaker’s Corner after hitching back to the smoke from the Gong farm. Jesus was on his box and wearing his Moroccan robe, flanked by two female acolytes. He was midway through his sermon on the mount, surrounded by dozen’s of shorthaired straights taking the piss. The gist of his flow was ‘Love and peace…save the planet..dah day..’ The incongruous memory of me chirruping ‘Hi Jesus’ as I ambled by and him breaking for a split second from his speech to say ‘Hi Man’ before returning to his speech without breaking stride has stayed with me since then. As I write from Australia, I am back on that overcast afternoon.


  16. Paul Gorman
    on Mar 8th, 2016
    @ 8:36 am

    Thank you Ian. A great memory of this singular fellow.


  17. James
    on Jun 7th, 2016
    @ 7:36 pm

    I met him a couple of time and I thought his name was Bill. There was another character from the north called Clive who got Jesus occasionally due to his hair and beard and didn’t miss many gigs


  18. Lance McCormack
    on Oct 11th, 2016
    @ 11:12 pm

    I saw yellow magic orchestra with Jesus at Hammersmith many moons ago
    It wa the last time we met


  19. Nicholas Bentley
    on Nov 18th, 2016
    @ 6:26 pm

    I remember Jesus from the Roundhouse Sunday afternoons – someone pointed him out and made a point of identifying him as “Jesus” – possibly my first ever gig – Manfred Mann’s Earthband (!) or some of many numerous instances of following around Mike Heron’s Reputation.

    I was also at the RamonesFlamin Groovies and Patti Smith/Stranglers, but I don’t remember him there, but it was veeeery crowded.


  20. SJC
    on Jan 4th, 2017
    @ 4:25 pm

    Earliest I can recall him was at the Blind Faith gig in Hyde Park about a month before the famous Stones extravaganza. I think he may have frugged at the Jefferson Airplane/Fairport Convention gig at Parliament Hill Fields a year earlier (the one that got broken up by skinheads bless rhe little dears…).

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