Sex Pistols Face Chart Battle With Blind Singer As They Re-release 'God Save The Queen'

PA  |  Posted: Updated: 19/04/2012 14:45   PA

The Sex Pistols face a chart battle with a blind singer who aims to take the National Anthem to the top of the charts for Diamond Jubilee week.

Lissa Hermans, 30, who is also autistic, is to release a charity version of God Save The Queen next month. It will be released at the same time as the Pistols' punk anthem of the same name, which is being reissued to mark the track's 35th anniversary.

Singer John Lydon - known in the 70s as Johnny Rotten - has already distanced himself from a campaign to get his song to number one for the jubilee weekend.

Hermans - who has already performed her version of the National Anthem to the Queen - has announced she will release her version at the end of May. It is thought to be the first time the tune has been released as a single. The singer is a member of the Chickenshed Theatre, a pet cause of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the single will benefit its charitable trust.

Hermans, a member of the theatre since she was seven, said the Queen had enjoyed her performance at a Dickens bicentenary event.
"It was completely nerve-racking, but after the performance, I met Her Majesty who told me that she thoroughly enjoyed my performance. I am delighted that the song will finally be released as a single."

Music fans are trying to co-ordinate an online campaign to get the Pistols' God Save The Queen to number one after record giant Universal announced the track would be re-released on May 28.

Showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit, a trustee of the theatre, said he was "appalled" to hear that Universal was putting the punk track out again, describing it as a "disrespectful, anti-Queen, anarchist song which even featured a defaced image of the Queen on the original front cover".
"Lissa is determined to stop Universal's re-release of the Sex Pistols' God Save The Queen hijacking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee."

Lydon issued a statement earlier this week saying he wanted to distance himself from the campaign to get his song to number one and 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. Instead Rod Stewart was at the top with I Don't Want To Talk About It.

God Save The Queen was re-released in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee but made it to just number 15.

The 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.

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

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Filed by Caroline Frost  |