Britain Pistols
John Lydon, also known as Johnny Rotten, outside the Hight Court Rolls Building in London, where he is giving evidence in a hearing between two former Sex Pistols band members and the band frontman over the use of their songs in a television series, Wednesday July 21, 2021. Drummer Paul Cook and the band's former guitarist, Steve Jones, are suing the Pistols' former lead singer to allow their songs to be used in a TV series. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
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Sex Pistols singer calls TV show 'nonsense' in songs dispute

9 Comments

Former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon said Wednesday that he’s “heart and soul” against letting the band’s songs be used in an upcoming television drama about the pioneering punk outfit, dismissing the TV series as “nonsense.”

Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten, is being sued by guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, who want the songs to feature in “Pistol,” a Disney-backed series based on a memoir by Jones.

Lydon says the songs can’t be licensed without his consent, but Cook and Jones say an agreement dating from 1998 allows a majority decision.

During a hearing at the High Court in London, Lydon said the agreement had never been used and the band had always made decisions about its music and imagery unanimously.

“I don’t understand how Steve and Paul think they have the right to insist that I do something that I so morally heart and soul disagree with without any involvement,” he said.

He said his erstwhile bandmates were demanding “that I agree to sign over the rights to a drama documentary that I am not allowed any access to.”

“To me that smacks of some kind of slave labor,” he said.

“Pistol” is being made for Disney subsidiary FX and is directed by Danny Boyle, the Academy Award-winning director of “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Formed in London in 1975, the Sex Pistols energized and scandalized the British music scene with songs such as “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the U.K.”

The band split up in 1978 after releasing one album, and bassist Sid Vicious died the following year. The surviving members have reunited for several concerts, most recently in 2008.

Cook said Tuesday that his and Jones' legal action against Lydon meant the Sex Pistols were probably “gone for good.”

Lydon has previously claimed Jones painted him in a bad light in his book, and has called the TV series “disrespectful.”

“This is my life here. This is my history,” he said Wednesday. “I didn’t write these songs (for them) to be given off to nonsense.”

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9 Comments
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A Sex Pistols drama made by Disney?

"Your future dream is a shopping scheme...."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just three truly great songs (four if you count Sid's version of "My Way") and an impact on the rock scene like a nuclear bomb going off. I know Lydon is an ornery git who liked Donald Trump, or at least said he did (maybe just to get up people's noses) but personally I can't help but like the guy. Sort of.

If you want a different perspective on the man, you should read about his devotion to his sick wife (link below).

Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of this case, it seems like he's the only former Pistol who still retains at least some credibility as a punk, as a rebel, and wants to protect that. Or maybe it's just ego. Who knows with Lydon? I hope he wins, anyway.

https://www.nme.com/en_au/news/music/john-lydon-opens-up-full-time-carer-wife-alzheimers-2686570

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A great band.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

kohakuebisuToday  08:31 am JST

A Sex Pistols drama made by Disney?

"Your future dream is a shopping scheme...."

Oh man, that says plenty to me. You can always count on Disney to cheapen an anthology series about the Sex Pistols. The very thought of them even doing a series like that sounds like 'bloody rubbish' to me too!

At least when the Beatles did their Anthology, it was all three survivors' (and Yoko's) efforts together.

 I know Lydon is an ornery git who liked Donald Trump, or at least said he did (maybe just to get up people's noses) but personally I can't help but like the guy. Sort of.

If you want a different perspective on the man, you should read about his devotion to his sick wife

Maybe he just said he liked Trump in order to maintain his punky 'cred' and image. Johnny Ramone was the 'conservative' and Republican of the first true punk band (The Ramones) but he had friends of all kinds and he even admitted that was a 'reaction' to all the hippy 'love power' trends. And so it may be with John Lydon. And I can't help but like him too.

I must agree, the idea of Disney tackling a subject like this is horrid and abysmal. Go Johnny, go GO!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He is on a level of intelligence/ dignity way beyond the other two. If he says no I would listen. A quick buck doesn’t make nearly enough for what they started. I respect the talent of all of them but I’d only trust Jonny to say the truth and stand firm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Johnny Rotten/Lydon and the rest of the band were the brainchild of the late Malcolm McLaren.

The band members are an irrelevance, a moment in time.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Disney is not punk enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe he just said he liked Trump in order to maintain his punky 'cred' and image.

I think he liked Trump because he was a non-establishment businessman and not a career politician.

Johnny Ramone was the 'conservative' and Republican of the first true punk band (The Ramones)

It needs to be stated for the record, The Ramones were not the first punk band and didn't have the following of the Sex Pistols until much later.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

BigYen

Totally agree with your comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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