The Monkees and the Sex Pistols are very different bands; however, the Sex Pistols once covered “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” One of The Monkees discussed his feelings about the cover while another discussed the Sex Pistols more generally. Here’s what they had to say.
What The Monkees’ Peter Tork thought about the Sex Pistols covering ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’
Paul Revere & the Raiders performed the original version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone but The Monkees made it famous. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Monkees’ Peter Tork discussed “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” He said it’s a lot different from a stereotypical 1960s song.
“The songs that we got [in the ’60s] were really songs of some vigor and substance,” Tork opined. “‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ is not peaches and cream. It comes down hard on the subject, poor girl.”
Tork then revealed what he thought about the fact the Sex Pistols covered the track. “And the weight of the song is indicated by the fact that the Sex Pistols covered it,” he said. “Anybody trying to write ”60s songs’ now thinks that you have to write ’59th St. Bridge.’ (Sings) ‘Feeling groovy!’ Which is an OK song, but has not got a lot of guts. ‘Steppin’ Stone’ has guts.”
For context, the song Tork mentioned was Simon & Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).” “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” is one of the more upbeat and sweet songs in Simon & Garfunkel’s discography. It has a lot less bite than The Monkees’ “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” — not to mention the Sex Pistols’ cover.
Davy Jones was surprised when the Sex Pistols covered 1 of The Monkees’ songs
Tork wasn’t the only member of The Monkees to comment on the Sex Pistols’ cover. According to Music-News.com, Davy Jones chimed in on the cover as well. “I’m quite surprised by the amount of musicians who have great affection to The Monkees,” he said. “He was a bit of a character old Sid Vicious there!”
How the 2 versions of ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ impacted the charts
Both versions of the song made an impact on the public. The Monkees’ “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for eight weeks. Interestingly, The Official Charts Company says their version of the song did not chart in the United Kingdom at all.
On the other hand, the Sex Pistols’ version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. In fact, none of their singles did. Their rendition of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” was far more popular in the U.K. The Official Charts Company reports the Sex Pistols’ cover of the song reached No. 21 in the U.K., remaining on the chart for eight weeks. While The Monkees and the Sex Pistols had very different sounds, they both secured the place of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” in pop culture.