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Music

John Lydon thinks anarchy is a "terrible idea"

John Lydon – formerly “Rotten” – has apparently contradicted the apotheosis of his younger self by saying that he disagrees with the notion of anarchy. In the 1977 hit, Lydon shouted that he was an “anarchist”, before thrusting forwards to chastise the terrorist organisations that emanated from his native Ireland. He has also seemingly backtracked on the sentiment of ‘God Save The Queen’, stating that it’s the institution, not the people, that bother him.

“Anarchy is a terrible idea,” he wrote in a piece for The Times. “Let’s get that clear. I’m not an anarchist. And I’m amazed that there are websites out there – .org anarchist sites – funded fully by the corporate hand and yet ranting on about being outside the shitstorm. It’s preposterous. And they’re doing it in designer Dr Martens, clever little rucksacks and nicely manufactured balaclavas.”

Lydon’s politics irritated bassist Glen Matlock, who holds a very different view on life. In a 2021 interview, Matlock claimed he wasn’t sure if he could reunite with someone who supported Nigel Farage or Donald Trump, particularly someone from Ireland. Matlock is anti-Brexit, whereas Lydon supported the campaign.

Lydon’s comments come hot on the heels of his criticism of Danny Boyle’s biography series, Pistol. 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.

The singer 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.