Journalist Nick Kent of the New Musical Express (NME) jammed occasionally with the band, but left upon Lydon's recruitment.
"When I came along, I took one look at him and said, 'No. "He's never written a good word about me ever since." In September, Mc Laren again helped hire private rehearsal space for the group, who had been practising in pubs.
When those plans fell through, Mc Laren, Rhodes and the band began looking locally for a new member to assume the lead vocal duties. John had something special, but when he started talking he was a real arsehole—but smart." When the pub closed, the group moved on to Sex, where Lydon, who had given little thought to singing, was convinced to improvise along to Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" on the shop jukebox.
As described by Matlock, "Everyone had long hair then, even the milkman, so what we used to do was if someone had short hair we would stop them in the street and ask them if they fancied themselves as a singer." In August 1975, Rhodes spotted nineteen-year-old Kings Road habitué John Lydon wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words I Hate handwritten above the band's name and holes scratched through the eyes. Though the performance drove the band members to laughter, Mc Laren convinced them to start rehearsing with Lydon.
An advertisement was placed in Melody Maker for a "Whizz Kid Guitarist. Not worse looking than Johnny Thunders" (referring to a leading member of the New York punk scene).
Steve New was considered the one talented guitarist to have tried out and the band invited him to join. After considering options such as Le Bomb, Subterraneans, the Damned, Beyond, Teenage Novel, Kid Gladlove, and Crème de la Crème, they decided on Sex Pistols—a shortened form of the name they had apparently been working under informally.
Mc Laren had been talking with the New York Dolls' Sylvain Sylvain about coming over to England to front the group. He had his 'I Hate Pink Floyd' T-shirt on, and it was held together with safety pins.
Glen Matlock, an art student who occasionally worked at Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, was recruited as the band's regular bassist.
In November, Mc Laren temporarily relocated to New York City.
The group had been rehearsing regularly, overseen by Mc Laren's friend Bernard Rhodes, and had performed publicly for the first time.
Soon after Mc Laren's return, Nightingale was kicked out of the band and Jones, uncomfortable as frontman, took over guitar duties.