Sex Pistols' John Lydon Not Interested In Jubilee Number One

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John Lydon is focusing on current renewed band, PiL
John Lydon is focusing on current renewed band, PiL

Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon says he wants to "distance" himself from efforts to get the band's God Save The Queen to number one in jubilee week.

The track is being re-released this summer and music fans have tried to kickstart an online campaign to push the track to the top of the charts to coincide with the national celebrations.

But Lydon - who has relaunched his band Public Image Ltd - insisted today he wanted "no part in the circus".

When the track was originally released in 1977, it became a focus for a royal backlash.

It has long been thought to have been the biggest seller for the Silver Jubilee week, with conspiracy theorists suggesting a tweak to the rules of chart eligibility denied it a place at number one which instead put Rod Stewart at the top.

God Save The Queen is being reissued on 28 May by music giant Universal to mark the song's 35th anniversary. It was re-released in 2002 but made it to just number 15.

An online campaign aims to mobilise music buyers in the same way that fans denied X Factor star Joe McElderry a Christmas number one in 2009 by downloading copies of Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name.

Lydon said: "I would like to very strongly distance myself from the recent stories and campaign to push God Save The Queen for the number one spot over the jubilee weekend. It is certainly not my personal plan or aim.

"I am proud of what the Sex Pistols achieved and always will be but this campaign totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for. This is not my campaign.

"I am pleased that the Sex Pistols recordings are being put out there for a new generation, however I wish for no part in the circus that is being built up around it."

In recent years Lydon has put together a new line up of PiL - the group he formed after quitting the Pistols in 1978 - and the band are to release their first album of fresh material for 20 years.

The album, This Is PiL, will come out on the same day as God Save The Queen.