The International Swingers: "The First Punk Bands . . . Were Just Bands"

Four punk legends walked into a bar. That's not the setup to some lame knee-slapper, but rather a precise description of what transpired Tuesday night in downtown Phoenix. The bar in question is renowned English pub the George and Dragon, and the aforementioned punk icons are exponentially more famous, having been a part of some of the more influential bands in rock 'n' roll history, like the Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Eurythmics, and Generation X.

They're Glen Matlock, Clem Burke, James Stevenson, and Gary Twinn, and right now they're more interested in talking about their current band, The International Swingers, that's brought them to Phoenix (in a van) for a show tonight at 910 Live in Tempe. "We're not on a big tour," one of them says. "We're on a little big tour." Up on the Sun was granted an audience with these members of rock royalty last night at the G&D. In the first of a two-part interview, they spoke about what it is they have left to prove, what punk means to them, and Matlock's previous gig as a guest DJ at a William Fucking Reed dance night.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.