It could be said that June 4, 1976, was the day the punk era began, all thanks to an intimate gig put on by The Sex Pistols.
The nascent band took the stage on the night of June 4 -- 37 years ago -- at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, playing to a crowd of about 40 in a space that could have held hundreds. Influenced by The Ramones, The Sex Pistols had made no significant splash in the music industry as of yet, having only played together under that name for a handful of months. That would change on this night, when a few notable figures just so happened to be in attendance.
In the crowd were a plethora of people who'd help The Sex Pistols in birthing the wave of punk music that would inundate the latter part of the 1970s as well as the 1980s. Among the concertgoers were Howard DeVoto and Pete Shelley, who together formed Buzzcocks; Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook, who would go on to become Joy Division; Mark E. Smith, who started The Fall; Steven Patrick Morrissey, who would become the infamous leader of The Smiths; and Tony Wilson, who began Manchester's influential Factory Records.
Just days after the gig, The Sex Pistols returned to London with two prominent opening bands in tow: The Clash and The Damned, both of which would go on to become punk-rock legends. The Sex Pistols' next gig at Lesser Free Trade Hall, just three weeks later, would put the punk era on the map after drawing hundreds in the crowd.
The Sex Pistols went on to produce seven Top 10 singles in the U.K., and their 1977 debut album "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" went platinum in both the United States and the U.K. The band reunited for one night in 2007 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the album.