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John Lydon slams bandmates over new Sex Pistols series

Former Sex Pistols vocalist John Lydon has slammed his former bandmates in an interview with The Sun, questioning guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook for their decision to remove him from the development of Pistol, an upcoming television serial that focuses on the rise of the punk movement in 1970s Britain. Lydon feels that the exclusion shows a lack of interest in the band’s collective history, citing the exclusion as idiocy from his colleagues.

“Cutting me out is a shockingly stupid move,” Lydon said. “It’s so ridiculous. It’s so preposterous.” The vocalist currently fronts an iteration of Public Image Ltd. but says the other members of The Sex Pistols have stood idly by since the 1970s. “They can all fuck off,” he added. “I supported them for years and years and years, knowing they were dead wood.” Tellingly, Lydon added, “None of these fucks would have a career but for me. They did nothing before, they’ve done nothing since.”

The series is a passion project for Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, who can visibly recall the early rise of the band, and their influence on the country he grew up in. Pistol is due to premiere on Hulu and Disney+ on May 31st, 2022, and is said to be based in part on Jones’ autobiography, Lonely Boy: Tales from A Sex Pistol. Lydon says the show was pieced together without his consent or approval and has declared the project a “middle class fantasy” that holds little in common with the truth as it unfolded in the 1970s.

Lydon has similarly distanced himself from the new compilation Sex Pistols Original Recordings, which showcases the band at their fieriest and most animal. In a statement issued on his Facebook page, the singer claims that he was not involved with either the artwork or the tracklisting, criticising Universal’s efforts as he did so.

In a 2021 interview, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock criticised Lydon’s political leanings, suggesting that as an Irish man – Lydon’s parents came from the Republic – the singer is going against his own interests. Lydon wrote about his Irish background on Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.