Sex Pistols Hit Back After John Lydon Accuses Them Of 'Cashing In' On Queen's Death

The punk band are best known for their 1977 hit God Save The Queen.
John Lydon
John Lydon
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images

John Lydon’s former Sex Pistols bandmates have hit back at the singer’s suggestion that they have “cashed in” on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The iconic punk rock group is arguably best remembered for their satirical and controversial track God Save The Queen, which was banned by the BBC upon its release during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

So it might have been surprising to some to see John among those paying tribute to the Queen following her death last week, tweeting simply: “Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Send her victorious.”

Since then, he has fired off a second message, this time taking aim at his former bandmates for what he sees as “tasteless and disrespectful” conduct in the wake of the Queen’s death.

“John Lydon wishes to distance himself from any Sex Pistols activity which aims to cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death,” his tweet read.

“The musicians in the band and their management have approved a number of requests against John’s wishes on the basis of the majority court-ruling agreement.

“In John’s view, the timing for endorsing any Sex Pistols requests for commercial gain in connection with ‘God Save The Queen’ in particular is tasteless and disrespectful to the Queen and her family at this moment in time.

“John wrote the lyrics to this historical song, and while he has never supported the monarchy, he feels that the family deserves some respect in this difficult time, as would be expected for any other person or family when someone close to them has died.”

The Sex Pistols have now issued a response, admitting they “cannot understand what he would be referring to”.

“Other than a couple of requests for use of imagery or audio in news reports on the Queen and her impact on culture, there’s nothing new relating to God Save The Queen being promoted or released in any way,” they insisted (via the PA news agency).

In August last year, John – known during the band’s heyday as Johnny Rotten – was sued by Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones to allow their music to be used in the TV drama Pistol, directed by Danny Boyle.

Judge Sir Anthony Mann found Paul and Steve were entitled to invoke “majority voting rules” against John in relation to the use of Sex Pistols material in the series under the terms of a band member agreement.

The pair welcomed the High Court ruling, but John has been highly critical of it.


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